2011 in Review

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/01/12 04:08 AM

Isn't life strange
A turn of the page
A book without light
Unless with love we write;
To throw it away
To lose just a day
The quicksand of time
You know it makes me want to cry

(Moody Blues, 1972)

More simply put, I cannot believe it has already been a year since we last did this: The quicksand of time indeed. Let us see just a bit of what sank into it over the last twelve months here on the Genii Forum:


January Genii Cover: Houdini


Ya Know a Fence for This Stuff?

Chuck and Jan Jones have their truck and trailer containing all of their magic props and costumes stolen while stopped at a Carson, California store. They had just returned from a tour in New Zealand. The Joneses retrieved their equipment from customs and were on their way home when they stopped at the store. The trailer was gone when they came out.

The trailer is found in Long Beach near a storage facility. Some equipment was recovered, but their signature piece, The Mismade Lady (created by Mr. Jones), was gone.

Many area illusionists come to their aid and loan them equipment so they can meet contractual obligations.

Letting Joe be Joe

During the swearing in of Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Vice President Joseph Biden performs a French Drop for the three-year-old son of the senator:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWzJU0liPd8

A Million Here, A Million There and Pretty Soon Were Talkin About a Lot of Downloads

Dodd Vickers Magic Newswire podcasts reaches the one million downloads mark. Among those is this remarkable list of people just in 2011: Teller, Guy Hollingworth, John Gaughan, Mac King, Jonathan Pendragon, Andrew Mayne, Richard Wiseman, Gary Vaynerchuck, David Ben, Julie Eng, Richard Hatch, Rob Zabrecky, Jason England, Milt Larsen, Erika Larsen, Irene Larsen, Dan Sperry, Ken Klosterman, Morgan Strebler, Jonathan Bayme, David Kaye, Rudy Coby, Christopher Martin, Luis de Matos, Marco Tempest, Brian Daniel, Banachek, Brian Brushwood, CJ Johnson, Danny Garcia, Tim Ellis, Craig Mitchell, Michael Ammar, Joshua Jay, Andi Gladwin, Alejandro Portella, Jay Sankey, David Sandy, Lance Rich, Aaron Jones, James L. Clark, Wayne Houchin, Jeff McBride, Jim Steinmeyer, Gabe Fajuri, John Archer, R. Paul Wilson, Johnny Thompson, Todd Robbins, Stan Allen, and our very own Chief Genii, Richard Kaufman.

And let us not forget all the interesting news he links us to that might otherwise be missed here on the Genii Forum. Thanks Dodd, and congratulations!

Well Have You know That Youre Not Dealing with Just ANY Fools!

John Archer and Ben Earl "fool" Penn & Teller on their UK series, Penn & Teller: Fool Us. They each win an appearance in the duos Las Vegas show.

The Entertainment Capital of the USA: Logan, Utah

Richard and Rosemary Hatch open the Academy of Magic and Music in the 1878 Thatcher-Young mansion in Logan, Utah.

The Pendragon Follies: The Finale

In what we hope is the end of a tumultuous period for them, the very public auction of the storage spaces once rented by the Pendragons is attended by about 150 people.

The first unit sells for $3,700 and reportedly contains mostly empty travel cases (which the buyer sold).

The second unit sells for $350.


February Genii Cover: Howard Thurston (and Jim Steinmeyers new biography on the master illusionist)


But Not His Last Greatest Book

Jim Steinmeyer's new biography on Thurston, The Last Greatest Magician, starts selling on Amazon.com

GUILTY!!! (But only of Positive Publicity

Instead of the lurid types of stories that seem to land magicians on the front pages, Paul Green hits the front page of the Daily News in Los Angeles for his magic.

Monte Carlo Blues

It is reported that the Blue Man Group will take over Lance Burtons old theater at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Opposites Attract (a Movie Deal)

ComingSoon.net reports that Dreamworks has purchased a new script by J. Michael Straczynski featuring Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle titled Voices of the Dead. Apparently the two men join forces to solve murders. (As we all know, in reality the two men were in fact good friends until differences of opinion on Spiritualism drove them apart. There is nothing noted that links the script to Christopher Sandfords Masters of Mystery [Palgrave Macmillan, 2011], a book about the actual relationship between the two men.)

Whats Next: Action Figures and Bobble-Heads?

The SyFy Channel announces the development of Among the Spirits, a drama series about Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle solving mysteries during the 1920s.

Imagine That: A Movie Where Magicians are the Bad Guys(?)

Now You See Me is a crime drama which purports to be about a magic super-group of four magicians who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. The movie, slated for release in 2013, is directed by Louis Leterrier and will star Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent, and Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman.


March Genii Cover: Edwin Dawes


The Whos Got the Coolest Hair Tour

Dan Sperry and Rudy Coby tour mid and southwest cities during March.

Weve Got a Really Big (Magic) Shew

SOFA Entertainment releases a DVD of just some of the magicians that appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show between 1961 and 1970. Amazing Stars of Magic features Richiardi, Gali Gali, Phoa, Kalanag, Pavel, Rene Levand, Berri Lee, Tel Smit, Chop Chop, Fantasio, and Mac Ronay. At a measly $12.95, its a bargain:

http://www.edsullivan.com/products/the- ... -of-magic/

At Least No One Was Hurt (Unlike Spiderman)

After delays, false starts, and a lengthy preview run, the (perhaps overly) ambitious illusion show Triumph: It Runs on Steam (Larry Fischer and Rafael Palacious, aka LaRaf) closes at the Las Vegas Hilton before ever enjoying an official opening night.

Hawaiis (Magical) Graceland

Max Malini spent the final years of his amazing life in Hawaii, passing away in 1942. In 1982, Allen Okawa, Michael Skinner, Presley Guitar, Roger Klause, John Cornelius, and Dai Vernon visited the former home of the great mountebank in Honolulu. A photo of the five men commemorating the event can be seen in Roger Klause in Concert by Lance Pierce. In 2011, Joined by Curtis Kam, Steve Cohen followed in their footsteps, having a photo of himself and Curtis taken standing in almost the same spot in front of the same house. (Color me jealous.)

The Real Thing is More Interesting

A play about Dai Vernon opens in Ottawa. The Shadow Cutter by Pierre Brault takes a fictional look at Vernons lifelong, obsessive quest for the ultimate card trick, and the unexpected cost of mastering it.


April Genii Cover: Jonathan Pendragon


As The Castle Turns Towards the Edge of Disaster While All Its Children Arent Getting any Younger but are Growing RestlessEpisode One

Robert Lamoureux, the President of the Academy of Magical Arts (The Magic Castle) resigns.

DOH!

The FOX show The Simpsons airs a magic episode with Lisa becoming the student of an old master magician. David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and Ricky Jay make voice (and cartoon likeness) appearances.

SOLD! (Part One)

Touted as the Auction of the Century, part of the Milbourne Christopher Collection hits the auction block. A total of 273 of 274 lots sell. The total hammer price realized: $860,416 (against a high estimate of $288,475). The bronze desk set that graces the dust jacket of Christophers Illustrated History of Magic fetches a whopping $45,000. (One guess who bought it.)

If Pugilists Can See Through Him

The boxing site RingSideReport.com discloses Criss Angels street tactics: The magician would go up to random people on the streets and perform tricks, but it would later be revealed that the people on the street were not so random. The tricks that he performed, such as levitating, were done through editing and a crane, and the amazed onlookers were all paid actors.

Pop Goes the Weasel

Criss Angel lands a TV commercial for Orville Redenbacher Popcorn.

No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds. Red Skelton

After a long, difficult, and successful battle against leukemia, Tom Mullica returns to the stage to bring laughter into the lives and hearts of many with his Red Skelton tribute show.

Make Believe is For Real

The award-winning documentary Make Believe, which follows the trials and tribulations of six young magicians competing at a Las Vegas magic convention, makes its national television debut on the Showtime movie network.

Nerd Central

Were the alpha males now, Chris Kenner says of his nerdness in a Las Vegas Weekly article about his Las Vegas home which sports some remarkable movie memorabilia as well as a $25,000 book on photography.

Ive got Jews at my museum! Melvin Udall (As Good as it Gets, 1997: Paraphrased)

The traveling exhibit, Houdini: Art and Magic, arrives at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and is joined by an incredible companion exhibition entitled Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age. The brainchild of Burton Sperber, the collection features items on loan from many local magicians including Mike Caveney, John Gaughan, and Ricky Jay.

Keeping a Barkeeps Memory Alive

Eddie Fechter, who often referred to himself as a simple barkeep, lost his battle to leukemia in 1979. Keeping alive the legacy of the proprietor of Forks Hotelwhere not only the FFFF Close-Up Convention began, but many great magical careers as wellare four professional magicians: Mike Seege, Rob Allen, Harrison Carroll, and Paul Richards. They meet each year at Fechters gravesite to clean and manicure it and remember the great magicianoopsmake that barkeep.

Whatever the Language, A Thief is a Thief

On a Swedish television talent contest show, a Swedish magician introduces a trick created and still performed by Teller in Penn & Tellers Las Vegas show by calling it a cover of Teller. (Teller would later comment that he never gave anyone permission to duplicate the effect.)

As The Castle Turns Towards the Edge of Disaster While All Its Children Arent Getting any Younger but are Growing RestlessEpisode Two

In a very popular move, the Board of Directors of the Academy of Magical Arts fills its empty seat by appointing Randy Sinnott.


May Genii Cover: Luis de Matos


As The Castle Turns Towards the Edge of Disaster While All Its Children Arent Getting any Younger but are Growing RestlessEpisode Three

The AMA announces its new officers after the sudden departure of its president:

President: Neil Patrick Harris
Vice President: Erika Larsen
Treasurer: Randy Sinnott
Secretary: Rich Cowley

Hi-Def Houdini

The 1953 film Houdini starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh is released on Blu-Ray.

From Main Street to Wall Street

An article on the magic documentary Make Believe appears on the Wall Street Journals website.

The Answer is: Practice!

What is, How did Jascha Heifitz answer the question, How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Steve Cohen, the Millionaires Magician, will be performing his new stage act at Carnegie Hall on January 12, 2012. (Tickets go on sale in September: $85 to $150.)

http://www.carnegiehall.org/Event.aspx?id=4294977757

Sorry Logan, Utah: The Entertainment Capital of the USA: Galena, Illinois

John Carney begins a run of his theater show, An Evening of Comedy and Magic, at the Trolley Depot Theatre in Galena, Illinois.

Erdnases Identity: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Richard Kaufman states that in the September issue of Genii, the answer to Who was Erdnase? will be answered. Pandemonium and speculation reigns the Genii Forums most popular thread.

One Mans Trash

After buying all of them last year, Richard Kaufman offers to sell Jeff Busbys URLs (website addresses).

Geronimo!!!!

It is reported that David Blaine is learning high diving for a future television special. (Which begs the question, how long can he sky dive?)

Theres That Logan, Utah Place Again

Richard Hatch and his Academy get some good press:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/entertainm ... h.html.csp

Yegg: Whats a Yegg?

After delays and a title change (originally slated to be Four-Minute Yeggs), Ricky Jay's Celebrations of Curious Characters, a book based on the raconteurs acclaimed NPR spots, begins shipping.

David Blaine, International Ambassador

This speaks for itself (and without a doubt, my favorite piece of Blaine video ever):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyACwQCtr20

The Law of the Blind Squirrel?

After a less than stellar job on a pair of handcuffs (according to some experts) Murray Sawchuck authenticates a Houdini straightjacket during his second appearance on cable television reality series Pawn Stars. A photo of the escape artist wearing what appears to be the same jacket (based on rivet patterns) does the trick. (The seller does not accept the meager offer from the pawn shop proprietor.)

How Come its Not Playwrite or Why Dont I Wright?

Jim Steinmeyer adds Playwright to his already impressive rsum. His one-act play, The Card Trick opens (appropriately) at the Magic Castle. The script, which is based on a meeting between Harry Houdini and the medium Margery, appears in the August issue of Genii.

Making the Impossible Possible

Long believed to be impossible to describe, Richard Kaufman does just that by fully explaining the work behind The Berglas Effect in the new book The Berglas Effects.

Putting His Money (and Ideas) Where His Mouth Is

Craig Mitchell, a vocal criticof both the good and badof magic conventions puts his own ideas to the test with the first IMX convention in Las Vegas. (It was enough of a success that a 2012 edition is in the works.)

Maven Tackles the Tough Question

As part of the twin magic exhibits at the Skirball Center, Max Maven persuasively (and entertainingly) answers the question, Why are so many magicians Jewish?

http://blogs.laweekly.com/stylecouncil/ ... _max_m.php

SOLD! (Part Two)

The collections of Tom Mullica and the late Prentice Taylor are put on the block at a combined auction.

The total auction featured 257 lots of 264 sold for a total of $132,090 realized versus a high estimate of $121,300.

The Taylor Collection had 169 of 176 lots sell for a total hammer price of $78,425 against a high estimate of $101,160. The highest selling item was a Chung Ling Soo lithograph that fetched $7,000.

The Mullica Collection had 88 lots, all of which sold. Hammer price realized: $53,665 against a high estimate of $20,140. The original Mullica Walletwith a high estimate of $300sold for a whopping $8,000.

Is THIS Your Card?

A first-time Genii Forum poster hits a homerun with his Rube Goldberg Card Trick video. Courtesy of Eric Starkey, please to enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJh_osEJjY4

They Huff and They Puff

A representative example of the level of professionalism found at the Huffingtonpost: Criss Angel's show is a disgrace, his use of stooges is beneath contempt, I feel sorry for Cirque Du Soleil (who co-produced the show) like one feels sorry for the long-suffering wife of a complete d*ckhead ...


June Genii Cover: Boris Wild


A Mystery for the Ages and All for a Good Cause: To Bring Wonder Into Someones Life

Jamie D. Grant launches the 2011 edition of his Send Wonder program:

http://blog.sendwonder.com/

Teller, Yes, but Trust Penn with a Key?

Penn & Teller are presented a Key to the City of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Getting Freaky Around Some Frisky Spirits

A 39-year-old woman who may have been engaged in sexual activity with a male friend while at the Ahavath Israel Cemetery (Hamilton, New Jersey) is injured when a tombstone falls on her leg (at which point the couple likely disengaged).

She was not seriously injured and the cemetery administrators did not press charges (nor did they charge admission).

King of Koins Commemorated

T. Nelson Downs is featured prominently featured in a Marshalltown, Iowa mural depicting the Lyric Theater. The vaudevillian managed the establishment after retiring from the stage in 1912. The article that appears in the Times-Republican (which bestowed the title King of Koins on Downs during his heyday) also notes a punishment leveled on him by a teacher. Fortunately it didnt take. Please to enjoy:

http://www.timesrepublican.com/page/con ... l?nav=5005

And The Answer Is(Part One)

Houdini is featured as a full category on Jeopardy. The $1,000 answer was the Daily Double and the contestant wagered $5,000 (and responded correctly). The answersin the form of questionsare:

$200: Budapest
$400: Halloween
$600: Appendix
$800: Sances
$1000: Arthur Conan Doyle

Illuminating with Magic (Naturally, of Course!)

As part of the annual Luminato Festival in Toronto, David Ben performs his new show, Natural Magick. A show titled Vodavil starring Mike Caveney, Tina Lenert, Ardan James, Gaetan Bloom, and The Great Tomsoni and Company also runs at the famous arts festival.

The Old Gray Lady Aint All About Politics

A potpourri of New York magic is featured in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/nyreg ... gic&st=cse

Killer Magic

As part of its special programs for the Houdini: Art and Magic and Masters of Illusion exhibitions, the Skirball Center presents Tragic Magic: A History of Fatal Conjuring with Joshua Jay.

Off Again: On Again

After being quickly optioned after its publication and then having been stalled in the quagmire known as Hollywood, the LA Times reports that the film version of Carter Beats the Devil is back in development by Warner Bros. featuring Johnny Depp in the lead role.

Hell Has Frozen Over: Wonders Have Ceased

Persi Diaconis publishes a book on card magic (albeit math-based card magic, but it reveals secrets to the animals).

Could Ricky Jay be next?

Naaahhhhh


July Genii Cover: Dan Sperry


As The Castle Turns Towards the Edge of Disaster While All Its Children Arent Getting any Younger but are Growing RestlessEpisode Four

The AMA announces that Mark Felicetti will no longer be performing the duties of Executive Director of the Academy of Magical Arts. A search for his replacement commences.

April in Portugal (make that July)

The second Essential Magic Conference, magics Internet-based magic conference, takes place. Though riddled with technical issues (on the part of the ISP, not the producers), the worldwide event is a success.

A Magician Makes Finals of AGT

Thats AUSTRALIAs Got Talent, and the magician is Cosentino. His final performance can be viewed here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO-_xU4d ... ture=share

(He lost to a teenage singer.)

Job SecurityorIts Good to be the King

Mac King extends his contract at Harrahs to 2015.

Why Wait?

It is announced that there will be a combined IBM-SAM convention in St. Louis in 2014 at the new Rennaisance Hotel.

Copperfield v Potter

The worlds most famous magician is taken to task by that Copperfield guy...

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/1165eb ... rry-potter


August Genii Cover: Scott Land


Put Another Candle on Your Birthday Cake

Illusionist John Calvert celebrates his 100th birthday.

Hey: Dick-Freakin-Tracy!

Using a pre-released copy of the cover to the September issue of Genii, Chris Aguilar discovers the identity of Erdnase (as proposed in that issue).

At Least the Show Name is (sort of) Original This Time

Steve Wyrick opens Ultra Magician at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, 1973)

The September issue of Genii is released: According to Marty Demarest (after trying to prove that the late David Alexanders candidate was NOT the elusive writer), he comes to the conclusion the SW Erdnase was Wilbur E. Sanders. Further pandemonium ensues on the Genii Forums most popular thread.

Now the Entertainment Capital of the Entire Western World

John Carneys show, An Evening of Comedy and Magic, in Galena, Illinois is extended through October.

Marvyn is Electric

Marvyn Roy, the only living performer who is represented in the Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age exhibition at the Skirball Center is interviewed there by Mike Caveney.

Im the King of the World! (not)

Criss Angel's Magicplace.com goes live.

SWEs B&B

The first Erdnaseum takes place in Helena, Montana, at the former home of WE Sanders which is now a Bed & Breakfast.

I Wonder if Someone Predicted This?

Banachek, James Randi, and Jamy Ian Swiss are featured in on ABCs Nightline Primetime. (Im sending a psychic message of the subject.)

Old is New Again

Talisman, a weekly magazine published by Jerry Blount and edited by Jules Lenier is reprinted by the Genii Corporation and released in a beautiful book. At 600 pages, it includes the magazines entire run from Volume 1, Number 1 to Volume 2, Number 23 (between 1970 and 1971).


September Genii Cover: S.W. Erdnase/W.E. Sanders


Yeah, But Did Anyone Notice He Was Gone?

After a short absence, Dodd Vickers returns to the Genii Forum with news links and reports.

Dj Vu All Over Again?

Described by a spokesperson as a brief hiatus, Steve Wyricks show at the Las Vegas Hilton closes. (Reports that the only people surprised by this are those who do not know about his checkered past are unsubstantiated at this time.) Just as he did with his failedand bankruptshow at the theater at the Miracle Mile, Wyrick claims that this show will be reopening shortly.

One of the things about narcissism is its singular lack of self-awareness. Steven Kalas (Las Vegas Review-Journal on Mr. Wyrick)

Sorry Mac, Turns Out Its David

The Society of American Magicians presents David Copperfield with their highest honor, "Magician of the Century," and names him the King of Magic.

As The Castle Turns Towards the Edge of Disaster While All Its Children Arent Getting any Younger but are Growing RestlessEpisode Five

The AMA BoD eliminates the position of General Counsel for the academy effectively ending controversial attorney George Juarezs long tenure in that position.

No Doubt its the Magic That Got Him In

Academy of Magical Arts President and former Magic Castle Junior (oh, and TV and movie star) Neil Patrick Harris is honored with a star on Hollywoods Walk of Fame.

One Down

Howard Scott Kalin, 48, a magician and balloon artist (as well as lawyerbut it is magician that makes the headline, not lawyer), pleads guilty to attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. He receives 10 years in federal prison.

Honestly, I Figured Him for a White Wine Kinda Guy

At the opening of Octoberfest at Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas, Norm Clarke (LVRJ) reports, To a wild ovation, Roy walked from the front door to the stage without a cane, walker or human assistance It was another example of how far Roy has come since the career-ending, near-fatal encounter with a tiger at The Mirage in October 2003.

So Whos the King Now?

The plaque that David Copperfield received declaring him King of Magicians is stolen from his apartment. Given what else is probably in that abode, this thief qualifies as one of Jay Lenos Stupid Criminals.

This Cat is No Pigeon

Please to enjoy a video of a cat playingand mostly winningthe Three Shell Game:

http://www.dailyhaha.com/_vids/cat-plays-shell-game.htm

(No, the operator does not use Glenn Bishops Shell Under Shot Glass ending.)

Look Daddy! A UFO!

Yet another classic magic effect joins the ranks of those turned into a kids toy. Some enterprising company has taken Bob Hummers Whirling Card, changed into a small, flashing flying saucer (UFO) and is pimping it out to kids as a skill toy. What this says about magic is open to debate.

Culinary Conjuring

Foodie Magician (Josh Beckerman) gives a whole new meaning to table hopping.

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/09/ ... ician.html

Meaning Well Does Not a Magician Make

Looking for news other than the Red Soxs monumental September collapse in the AL East standings, Boston area news outletsprint, radio, and TVlatch on to a report that the Abington, Massachusetts Township School Committee Chair, Russell Fitzgerald, embarrassed a Teacher of the Year, a woman committee member, the entire School Committee, the meeting attendees, himself, and the art of magic by performing the Bra Trick. He used the woman as histo quote local news sourcesunwitting assistant. Hes lucky she wasnt described as his victim.

Making matters worse, the performance was broadcast live on Abingtons public access cable channel and then became a national story. Doubling down on magics embarrassment is the fact that he, apparently, has been opening every meeting with hokey magic tricks (to again quote local news sources).

This is why so many people dislike magic. This is why some of magics best performers dislike the magic community. Becauselike it or not, and being a nice, well-meaning guy asideour community is populated with magicians like Russell Fitzgerald.*

Harrys Got a Great Bust

In 1975, someone with nothing better to do with their pathetic little life destroyed the bust of Harry Houdini that adorned the legendary escape artists gravesite. Through the hard work (and expense) of several people, including Dorothy Dietrich, Dick Brookz, and Steve Moore, a new bust has been placed at the monument located in the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, New York.

Going, Going Gone

After boasting many locations in shopping malls across the country (as well as the Virgin Islands), Magic Masters closes its last Victorian design shop, located at Walt Disney Worlds Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida.


October Genii Cover: Dan and Dave Buck


Nani Darnell and Company (well, thats what I would have called it)

Nani Darnell, some magician named Mark-something, and a clown (its an R word) are featured in the world premiere of the pilot episode of The Magic Land of Allakazam at the Magic Castle. Magics first network series, it aired Saturdays on CBS then ABC from 1960 to 1964. (DVDs of all 24 regular episodes can be acquired at http://www.markwilsonmagic.com/allakazamCol.htm )

Houdini Still Touring

In its third stop, the Houdini: Art and Magic exhibition opens at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, California.

While the Jews are Held Over

The Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age exhibition at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles is held over to January 8, 2012. The exhibit proves to be the institutions most popularand profitablesince one on Albert Einstein.

Taking a Shine to The Magicians

Shine TVs The Magicians (a show where three leading magicians are each paired with a different celebrity partner on each show) is picked up for a second series of shows by BBC1. Reportedly, the format was also sold to Russian and Ukrainian television.

Bull$#!t Light (T/Y Tom Frame)

Penn & Teller Tell a Lie, the duos new series on the Discovery Channel, underwhelms, but Sisuepahn, performing her Georgia Magnet act, appears in the first episode, so it wasnt all that bad.

Im Not Sure What I Saw, But I Liked It

National Geographic Channel airs Brain Games, a three-part series on how our brains work (specifically Perception, Attention, and Memory). Narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, it features segments with David Copperfield as well as Apollo Robbins performing sleight of hand and pickpocketing.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/c ... ain-games/

Bring Out Yer Dead Bring Out Yer Dead Bring Out Yer Dead**

Tellers reports on Twitter: I've spent six days so far in editing my video recording of the Off-B'way "Play Dead." No release plans yet, but the show lives on.

**Python, Monty (1974)

A New Venue Equals New Gigs

The Hollywood Magic Bar opens in the Hollywood and Highland Center (cleverly named after its location: also the home of the Kodak Theater).

Well No DUH!

It comes as no surprise to any of us ultra-hip members that the Magic Castle is voted the #1 Pop Culture Meca according to the LA Weekly Blogs.

(Really?!?)

So THATS Why He Moved There

Matthew Field, editor of the Magic Circles magazine, The Magic Circular, is honored with the Silver Wand Award for services to the Society.

Some Good News Out of Washington DC (Other Than Genii)???

A very nice feature piece by Laura Wexler on Rich Bloch and his Dickens Parlour Theatre ( http://www.dptmagic.com/ ) appears in the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle ... story.html

Carey to Join Carrell in Conjuring Comedy(?)

Comic actor Jim Carey is reportedly in talks to join his pal and fellow comic actor Steve Carrell in the film Burt Wonderstone, the light-hearted comedy about a Las Vegas illusionist who accidentally kills his partner. (Accidental death is always a hoot.)

I Want My MTV

A lovely piece of music by Mike Marlin, The Magician, features a wonderful piece of music video with a lot of quality magic being performed by Steve Dela, Scott Perry, Defedas B & Magic Singh during a game of Texas Holdem. Courtesy of our friend Dodd Vickers, please to enjoy:

http://mnw.squarespace.com/magicnewsfee ... video.html

Harry Lorayne Will Never Again Release a Book of New Card Magic

Harry Lorayne releases a book of new card magic: Special Effects.

Look at My Irresponsible Gossip Column! I Have No Idea What Im Talking About!

On the compelling evidence that Penn & Teller were going on a short hiatus from their Rio show (the contract for which had been recently extended by the hotel/casino), Las Vegas showbiz/gossip columnist Robin Leach reports that Penn & Teller split. This requires the busy duo to use some of their time off to assure everyone that they did not split up and are just working on other projects. Theres no truth to reports that Robin Leach was merely in the midst of a Champaign wish or caviar dream.

The Names Blaine: David Blaine

ABC has picked up a drama project in which the lead character is based on David Blaine. He will double as a covert agent while performing his endurance stunts and magic. The real David Blaine is not attached to the project which is titled In Like Fin.

Its a Bird! Its a Plane! Its a Magician!!!

Jon Armstrong gangs up with Mike Costa (comic writer) and Ryan Browne (comic artist) to publish a new comic book series, Smoke and Mirrors, that incorporates magic that the reader does via the comic book to help develop the story. Thus far there is no known Superhero Team name for the three artists, possibly because Doom Patrol was already taken?

The Power of Teller Compels You! The Power of Teller Compels You! The Power of Teller Compels You!

During the aforementioned hiatus from the Rio show, Teller begins work on the stage version of The Exorcist.

The Power of Trump Compels You! The Power of Trump Compels You! The Power of Trump Compels You!

Adding to the P&T rumor mill is a report that, for reasons passing understanding, Penn Jillette will appear on Donald Trumps Celebrity Apprentice.

And The Answer Is(Part Two)

Magic appears as a category on an episode of Jeopardy. The responses (in the form of a question, of course) are:

$400: Wand
$800: Penn & Teller
$1200: David Copperfield
$1600: Prestidigitation
$2000: David Blaine

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Apparently Dai Vernon is still hanging around the Magic Castle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgibhEORnys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrb0PGRHxhI

The Stuff of a Legend is Legendary

Less than six months after its release, The Berglas Effects, written and published by Richard Kaufman, goes out of print.

Theyre Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Ha, Theyre Coming to Take Me Away, Ho-Ho, He-He, Ha-Ha

Richard Kaufman drops a major hint that he is considering a Genii Convention in celebration of the publications remarkable 75th anniversary. There is no truth to the rumor that Kaufman made the announcement from a rubber-lined room.

Taking Inferno Week at the Castle a Little Too Literally

The Magic Castle is on fire are words that can make the blood rush from members heads. Indeed, on October 31, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a major alarm fire at the historic club. 45 fire companies comprising 120 firefighters converged on the 100-plus year-old mansion and contained what could have been a devastating fire to the attic and third floor administration offices. An aggressive firefight (as described by the fire chief who spoke with the media) saved the building and most of its priceless contents. Most of the damage was caused by water and even that was minimized as much as possible by the valiant efforts of the men and women of the LAFD.

Though still officially under investigation, the cause of the fire is suspected to be roof repairs that were underway.

Through hard work and dedication of members, including AMA Vice President Erika Larsen, ownership representative West McDonough, and countless others, repairs begin immediately. Just four days later, the club reopened the doors to the Thomas Glover Annexwhere the main showrooms are locatedwith a limited schedule while repairs continue on the mansion proper. (And there could be some truth to the rumor that Milt Larsen has strapped on his tool belt and is using the opportunity to make a few revisions here and there!)

One thing is certain: The membership is united in its determination to get their clubhouse up and running again and good things will arise from what could have been a terrible tragedy. (It is hoped that the mansion proper will reopen in late January 2012.)

And the world of magic breathed a collected sigh of relief.


November Genii Cover: Dani DaOrtiz


High Mileage, Excellent Condition, Only Two Owners

Genii, the Conjurors Magazine officially turns 75 years old, marking a major milestone for the longest running independent magazine of magic in the history of the craft. Started by William Larsen, Sr., in September of 1936, the magazine remained in the Larsen family until its sale to Richard Kaufmans partnership (The Genii Corporation) in 1998.

Making History

The 12th Los Angeles Conference on Magic History is held in North Hollywood. The buzz is that one of the highlights of the event include the day-trip to the storied property called Brookledge, the home, studio, and theater of Floyd Thayer andsince the early 1940sthe home of the Larsen family. Vying for the number one spot was Steve Freemans expos of Suzie Cottrell, the ersatz psychic who dazzled Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show in 1977 with a flawless performance of her supposed powers. (For the record, it was her technical powers of sleight of hand and timing that dazzled Carson: If its a trick, its the damnedest trick Ive ever seen.)

Everyones Hero: Mr. Mysto!

Mr. Mystos Wizard Academy by Mr. Mysto (as told to John Carney), a beginners book for the public, is released.

http://www.carneymagic.com/store_books.html

Hope No One Tells Leno Michael is a Magician

Michael Carbonaro makes his third appearance as the Magic Clerk on the Jay Leno show. On a hidden camera in a convenience store, the clerk has unexplainable things happen around him as he simply tries to ring up customers purchases.

NO! Dont Do It! You Still Have Your Youth!

As Matthew Field steps down (or escapesdepending on ones point of view) from the helm of the Magic Circles publication The Magic Circular, it is announced that Will Houstoun (AIMC) will take on the editorship of the long-running organ of the venerable association.

Brown Broadway Bound (T/Y Craig Mitchel)

Darren Brown sets his sights on the USA with a show expected to open on the Great White Way sometime in late 2012.

SOLD! (Part Three)

The auction of a small part of Ken Klostermans Salon de Magie collection results in 329 of 352 lots sold for a total hammer price of $136,945 (under the high estimate of $152,765).

Will There be a Lien Placed on His Wind Machine?

Hans Klok, he of the perpetually wind-blown hair, loses a case in a Dutch court in which the illusionist was accused of steeling performance material. He is fined over 12,000 Euros.

Going GaGa

Pop star Lady Gaga goes headless in a performance on the British version of The X Factor. At least for one person, its noteworthy that Roger Coker of Milo and Roger was doing the bit a half-century ago:

Roger vs. GaGa

Mlis in 3DIf He Only Knew

The new Martin Scorsese film, Hugo, which is based on Brian Selznicks award-winning childrens book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (which gains much of its inspiration from Georges Mlis and the Lumiere brothers) opens. Highly touted for its imagery and story, the magnificent film stars Asa Butterfield in the title role with supporting turns from Chloe Grace Moretz, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Sir Christopher Lee, and Sir Ben Kingsley as Mlis. Bill McIlhany, who has viewed every film ever made on the subject of conjuring, calls it the most magical movie Ive ever seen.

Paper or Plastic?

Only 30 years after Australia converted their currency to it, Canada announces that its $100 note will be made from plastic. The USA cant be far behindrelatively speaking.

Tilting at a Really Big Windmill

Dirk Losander, in an effort to protect his productsin particular his wonderful Floating Tablesfrom the unethical and allegedly illegal conduct of Chinese magic manufacturers like China Magic, starts an association for creators of magic effects. This is in the hopes that the community of magic will come together, follow their collective conscience, and use their buying power to stop these scumbag rat bastard sons of bitches who willfully ignore laws, ethics, and integrity. Please see the United Magic Inventors Organizations website:

http://www.unitedmagicinventorsorganiza ... lcome.html

And please dont buy ANYTHING from China Magic!

SOLD! (Part Four)

The purported Houdini Straightjacket (authenticated by Murray Sawchuck) that appeared on the reality series Pawn Stars in May, fetches $46,980 at auction (Christies Auction House, London).

Reality Check

On the reality series Storage Wars, the buyer of a storage unit acquired a Head Twister illusion. The buyers head probably twisted around for real when he discovered from former AMA President Dale Hindman that it was only worth about $50 after having spent $1,050.

Lefty Makes Me Misty

If you are old enough to remember, watch and take in the nostalgia. If youre too young to know, watch and take in what you missed (courtesy of Tom Dobrowolski):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hos1XW8Dcmw&sns=em

Heeeeeres Johnny!

In an appearance on the old Jack Benny Show which was clearly a promotion of the fact that he was the new host of the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson is seen performing some card manipulations, playing drums, as well as some singing and a little soft shoe.

A Hall of Fame Endeavor

After nearly losing everything to a 2004 fire in an adjacent building (courtesy of a City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power transformer) and being told everything would be toxic and unable to be saved, the SAM Hall of Fame is looking to relocate along with most of the now cleaned and carefully stored artifacts. They even have a website where maybe you can help with this admirable cause:

http://www.samhalloffame.com/

A Professorial Brouhaha

The announcement by L&L Publications of the release of new video footage as well as long unavailable print material from Dai Vernon which will be packaged together with the 8-DVD set Revelations is met with discord, enthusiasm, and everything in between.


December Genii Cover: Franz Harary


When Will Then Be Now?

Waitingstill waitingfor Wyricks show to reopenyou know, shortly (That explains Robin Leach: he hears the words short hiatus and figures it means its all over for everyone, not just Wyrick.)

Vernon DOES Return

Audio enhancement from a video released in October proves that Vernons spirit still lingers the Parlour of Prestidigitation at the Magic Castle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt3LwKz3XU8

We Hear Her Royal Highness Loves the Bloody Bits

Penn & Teller are slated to appear on Royal Variety Show in London.

The Return of the Page Boy

The highly anticipated book of the late Patrick Pages magic is released. Magic: Page by Page is available exclusively from http://www.patrickpagemagic.co.uk/

Everythings Coming Up Erdnase

But thats not what David Ben and Julie Eng of Magicana call the organizations site on Erdnase: Its just Everything Erdanse. http://www.everythingerdnase.com/exhibit/

You Love Me! You Really, Really Love Me!

Houdini site http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/, which is run by Genii Forum regular and Houdini authority John Cox, receives an unsolicited endorsement from Teller via his Twitter feed.

Is it Official?!?

Genii magazines 75th Birthday Bash is on! Its slated for October 4, 5, 6, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. (Sorry, but there is no truth to the rumor that one of the perks is a dunking tank featuring yours truly.) Registrations are limited and now available at http://geniiconvention.com/

Escapades on Oddities

Escape Artist, Mentalist, and Genii Forum member Michael Lee performs an unusual handcuff escape on the Science Channels reality show, Oddities. After being locked into a set he wishes to purchase from the East Village, New York shop Obscura Antiques, it appears as if he just wills them to open one cuff at a time.

And the Winner Is

Oops: not David Copperfield. The Oscar statuette won in 1942 by Orson Welles for co-writing Citizen Kane (1941)with Herman Mankiewiczwent to auction and was scooped up by an anonymous buyer for the bargain price of $861,000. Copperfield was among those who bid but lost.

Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward M XBOX!!!!!!

There are no reports of magicians pepper spraying one another, but sometimes our treatment of one another around here isnt always commendable.

Throwing Out Houdini

So, did Houdini have a Throw-Out Card or not?

The question is posed to the Forums several Houdini authorities, but finally it is the memory of Bill Mullins that answers the question: Maybe. A photo of what appears to be one appears in Ricky Jays Card as Weapons. Then, finally, Patrick Culliton (a Houdini biographer) verifies that indeed, Harry Houdini scaled personalized throw-out cards into the audience in the great tradition of past masters.

Umm, Thanks But No Thanks

Though no other foreign dignitaries are invited, Japanese magician Princess Tenko is invited to attend the December 28 funeral of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. I was asked to wear white she is reported to have said. It turns out she was his favorite magician. He liked her so much that he collected all of the dolls marketed in her image and government officials delayed her return to Japan after a 1998 trip to the communist country. She describes other scary moments during other trips there. In a statement released through her representation, Princess Tenko said, Considering all circumstances, I decided not to attend the public event.

Abby Someone. Igor (Young Frankenstein, 1974)

Found in an article published on a Smithsonian Institute site by Christopher Heaney, a Smithsonian Institution Archives Predoctoral Fellow (and with our thanks to Magic Newswire for reporting it):

Actually expecting his brain to be abnormal, Smithsonian physical anthropologist Dr. Ale Hrdlička examined Harry Houdini in the spring of 1926. He measured the escape artists skull and conducted other tests. The scientist determined that Houdinis uncanny ability to perform the seemingly impossible was not the result of any physical abnormality, but the results purely of a superior mentality and untiring practice. This did not stop the doctor from requesting that Houdini bequeath his brain to the Smithsonian so it could be examined after death. Houdinis answer (paraphrasing), Mmmmno.

Las Vegas Still Magical

Also linked via Dodd Vickers Magic Newswire is an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal by Michael Weatherford. He reports that the Vegas Magic Theatre is up and running at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.

The new Paul Stone produced venue will host various magicians in a format like a comedy club. Ben Stone (Pauls son) will be the permanent host in the cabaret style venue while the remaining cast will change weekly. Murray Sawchuck and juggler Michael Goudeauformerly of the Lance Burton Showare among those booked.

A perusal through the Gold Coasts website shows Luna Shimada, Adam Flowers, Kip Reynolds, and Tino Ferreira currently listed (though tonight should be their last show). Shows run Thursday through Sunday (two shows on Saturday). Ticket prices are $14.95. (The Gold Coast is part of Boyd Gaming which owns several off-strip properties that are popular due to their low cost rooms and food.)

http://www.goldcoastcasino.com/whats-ne ... ic-theatre

Our Ever Expanding Reading List

Other books not mentioned above (and I know Im leaving some out, but not on purpose: please believe me) include Devious Standards by Jamy Ian Swiss, Kodell: Do Something Different by Jack Kodell, Rameses: The Forgotten Star by Chris Woodward, Maelstrom by Tom Stone, Hold Em Magic by Tom Frame, More Power to You by David Acer, Evolution (e-Book) by Bill Goodwin, and Timeless Magic by Tim Ellis.

And Speaking of Great Magic

Here is the list of those who contributed to Magicana in the pages of Genii in 2011:

Guy Camirand, Jason Dean, Patrick Duffy, Steve Duperr, Bob Farmer, Frank Fogg, Cameron Francis, David Gabbay, Bill Goodwin, J.K. Hartman, Richard Hucko, Joey Incollingo, David Jade/Salvatore Sufrate, Patrik Kuffs, Harry Lorayne, Chris Mayhew/Ryan Pilling, Gene Maze, Robert E. Neale, David Neighbors, Daniele Nigris, Ed Oschmann, Chris Randall, Matthew Rider, Joe Rindfleisch, Brian Roberts, Richard Sanders, Jay Sankey, Jeff Stone, and Chris Westfall. And all of it expertly (or something along those lines) written up by our ownand no one elsesDavid Acer who was kind enough to post all this information so all I had to do was cut & paste it (and change the case and fixah to hell with it; no ones reading this anyway).

Along with who appeared in Magicana, the other contributors to Genii in 2011 included Max Maven, Jim Steinmeyer, Tom Stone, Roberto Giobbi, Boris Wild, Dan & Dave Buck, and Dani Da Ortiz. Our sincere thanks to all of the contributors!

The Go-To-Magic-Wiki

Magicpedia reaches 139,144 views in 2011.

The Phenomenal Erdnase Phenomena Continues

The Erdnase thread remains the Genii Forums most popularand perhaps most historicthread. It closes 2011 with 2,353 posts and 841,649 views.


* * * *
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/01/12 04:08 AM

The Final Curtain

It is ever difficult to see her clearly, if at all, this imperishable lady at ones elbow. Perhaps we do not wish to glimpse the inscrutable one who pounces upon us to exercise a last option. And although some poets sing of her as beautiful beyond lilacs and roses, and say of her that she is a refuge for the sick of heart, my personal opinion is that Death is a great whore. She sleeps with everyone, promiscuously and obscenely, and everyone must sleep with her without willing it. Why lie? Gene Fowler (on the death of Alexander Woollcott, Good Night, Sweet Prince, 1943).

Please take a moment for one final curtain call for those who left us this past year:

Bobby Acoba (71)
Dr. Robert Albo (78)
Bill Andrews (91)
James Baker (85)
Wally Boag (90)
JB Brash (67)
Brude Bray (43)
Dick Christian (73)
Fred Collins (64)
Tim Conover (51)
Tabby Crabb (65)
Gloria Crawford (86) (Crawford & Gloria)
Steve Dacri (54)
John Daniel (81)
Robin "Kardor" DeWitt (74)
Jack Ferero (81)
Bill Gusias (86)
Max Hapner (80)
Donald Hinz (71)
BJ Jennings (Widow of Larry Jennings)
Eugene Johnson (53)
Bill King (85)
Hank Moorehouse (77)
Earle Oakes (88)
Richard Oakley (82)
Gianni "Roxy" Pasqua (64)
Pavel (65)
Ruth Ann Pitts (83)
Sid Radner (91)
Robert Rodiguez (80)
Terry Seabrooke (78)
Ly Simonoff (82)
Burton Sperber (82)
Charles "Prentice" Taylor (79)
Jim "Carazini" Williams (86)
Jimmy Yoshida (91)
Dorothy Young (103) (Houdini assistant)

* * * *

*Our world is largely what we make of it. If we want our little world of magicin all its many aspectsto be better, each of us must first become better.

The Genii Forum thanks you and wishes you and yours a happy and healthy New Year.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 01/01/12 06:21 AM

Dustin - as always - a very BIG thank you for putting this together!
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Postby Magic Newswire » 01/01/12 10:43 AM

Dustin, thanks for another amazing recap! Having some idea of the amount of effort that goes into putting something like that together, I tip my hat to you. I recorded my end of the year podcast with Scott Wells, Chase Goforth, Cameron Ramsay, David Kaye and an array of surprise guests yesterday. That was enough for me. This is GREAT and I am honored to be a part of it! Again, Thanks!

BTW.. I had to see if the Carson video that you mentioned was online.. and no surprise, it was! Enjoy it here: http://bit.ly/CarsonBenny

PS... for anyone interested, since the article on me and the Magic Newswire appeared several months ago, we have since reached 1.75 million total downloads of the podcast. This may not be much by the standards of someone like Leo Laporte who reports on topics of interest to a very broad audience, but given the relatively small size of the community to whom I target my content, I am blown away! Thank you all for listening and supporting the Magic Newswire! Happy New Year!
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Postby Magic Randy » 01/01/12 11:45 AM

Thanks Dustin...
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Postby Magic Newswire » 01/01/12 12:28 PM

BTW.. for those not interested in the entire clip of Johnny Carson, you can FF to the 7.25 min mark for his card flourish
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Postby Edward Pungot » 01/01/12 12:40 PM

The parts of my brain devoted to magic 2011 has been officially defragmented and filed away for future reference. Thanks Dustin.

Happy New Year Everyone!
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Postby Roger M. » 01/01/12 12:52 PM

Always the January 1st magic hi-lite Dustin!
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 01/01/12 01:39 PM

A fun read every year Dustin. Is there a clip of Suzie Cottrell on the Tonight Show anywhere?
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/01/12 02:37 PM

Thanks all.

The video of Miss Cottrell is not readily available. Perhaps one day a DVD of magic from the Tonight Show will be released and it will be included...but I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks again!
Dustin
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 01/01/12 02:47 PM

Too bad about no video of Suzie Cottrell. Did anyone happen to catch Jack Benny's comment on card tricks in Dodd's link?
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 01/01/12 02:48 PM

Thanks Dustin for all the hard work and effort. I look forward this every year. You made my day.

Thanks Again.........Kevin
Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.
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Postby JohnCox » 01/01/12 03:01 PM

You should have a blog, Dustin.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry
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Postby Magic Newswire » 01/01/12 04:49 PM

JohnCox wrote:You should have a blog, Dustin.


He does.. It'c called the Genii Forums! ;-)
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Postby M.Lee » 01/01/12 07:52 PM

Dustin - Very well produced , Congratulations
Happy 2012 to all.

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Postby Bill McFadden » 01/01/12 10:12 PM

Thanks once again for the new year's treat, Dustin. It's much too good to be given away.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/01/12 11:09 PM

Great job, Dustin! I always wish we could somehow time shift so we could get this into the December or even January issue.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby Jim Martin » 01/02/12 11:39 AM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Great job, Dustin! I always wish we could somehow time shift so we could get this into the December or even January issue.


For that to happen within publication deadline Dustin would write the January - November summation, and Max Maven would 'predict' the December info, yes?

Well done, as always Dustin- thanks.
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Postby MaxNY » 01/02/12 11:44 AM

Bravo!
(BTW) I first posted the Carson doing card manips here 8 years ago. I didn't have have a You-Tube piece, but I'm going to watch this stuff, and if I have different, I will post-it to You-Tube and announce it here.
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