CELEBRACADABRA

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby jerry lazar » 01/17/08 03:07 PM

VHI has greenlighted Celebracadabra, in which seven TV and film stars vie for the title of Best Celebrity Magician."

The apocalypse is nigh.
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Postby Jeremy Greystoke » 01/17/08 03:23 PM

Well, if they approach it even half as seriously as Jason Alexander does, then it might not be too bad. From what I've gathered, this might not be as horrendous as people fear. If this is the one with Max Maven and Jeff McBride involved with the judging, then it may not yet prove to be one of the signs of the impending apocalypse.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/17/08 03:52 PM

We will be covering Celebracadbra in Genii, in articles written by David Regal, one of the celebrity coaches. It's actually has the potential to be a good show!
Look for the first article in our April issue.
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Postby Tom Frame » 01/17/08 06:22 PM

The celebrities are off to a great start with Mr. Regal as one of the coaches. This might actually work! I hope so.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/17/08 06:34 PM

The group of magician/coaches is a good one, and the judges are good. Unlike the baloney of "Phenonemon," all of these people are folks from our field, names we all know.
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Postby David Alexander » 01/17/08 06:44 PM

As trained actors they have a huge advantage over "regular" magicians, however I'm always bothered by non-magicians appearing to do magic. A number of old Hollywood stars were long-time amateurs such as Chester Morris. Their hobby/interest was well-known. A "celebrity" taking up magic for a faux "competition" just to get more face time on television isn't a good thing, I don't care who the "coach" is.
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Postby jerry lazar » 01/17/08 07:16 PM

OK, OK, perhaps I spoke prematurely, and with Regal involved, I'm encouraged and willing to be surprised, and even happy to be wrong!... True, Jason Alexander was phenomenal in his Castle debut, but for him it was the culmination of a lifelong passion, not a hurriedly prepared lark... If prepped and presented well, I suppose this new TV thing could give the public's perception of the magical arts a much needed boost.. I'll keep an open mind, and look forward to judging it AFTER I see it, with newly raised hopes and good wishes -- and eagerly await Genii's coverage by David... That'll be a fun read, no matter what... And, I'm reminded, sometimes the Apocalypse can be a very good thing!... Feeling better now, thanks-- meds kicking in...
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Postby SteveP » 01/20/08 04:00 PM

Here's some more information on Celebracadabra - this is what I posted on the Ellusionist blog:

Celebracadabra VH1 Series Sponsored By Ellusionist

In development news, VH1 has given the green light to a brand new project Celebracadabra.

Seven TV and film stars vie for the title of Best Celebrity Magician when they gather at The Magic Castle and other venues in Los Angeles, the worlds most famous club for magicians, and attempt to learn and perform tricks normally left to the professionals.

Guided by veteran magicians, the competitors face tough crowds and a master panel of judges (including Max Maven and Jeff McBride) who determine which celebrities get to advance to the next round and a shot at a $100,000 grand prize provided by Ellusionist.com Magic Training.

Ellusionist is sponsoring the Series and will provide downloadable tricks for people to learn, tie-ins with the VH1 web site, contests, and additional rare footage shot by the Ellusionist team while on the Celebracadabra set.

Executive producers are Michael Hirschorn, Shelly Tatro, Karla Hidalgo and Chris Martin.

Currently it looks like the Series will debut in April.

I will be providing regular updates & video clips on the Ellusionst blog - http://blog.ellusionist.com
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Postby Murray SawChuck » 01/23/08 12:38 PM

Celebracadabra is going to be a big hit... they spent over 4 million on developing it and hired the right people... and are really putting the time in to make it just right! Also this will really put the Magic Castle on the map again... The show has lots of magicians with credits and experience and the celbs LOVED IT!!! I have never worked so hard in my life to teach someone something and to get it performable in front of a live audience but they had more dedication than most magicians that buy a million DVD's and leave them sitting on their shelves to collect dust... I am sure it will be a hit! http://murraysawchuck.com
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Postby Mark Paulson » 01/24/08 12:16 PM

Any word on who the celebrities are? I know one celeb has been in 150 movies, and another one is a *****cat Doll. How about the others? When will we find out?
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 01/24/08 12:47 PM

Tim Ellis has done some good research on this, and has discovered who some of the celebrities will be:

Carnie Wilson (daughter of Brian Wilson and member of the 90's group Wilson Phillips)
Hal Sparks (comedian/actor)
Chris Reid (Kid, of Kid N Play)
Kim Wyatt (*****cat Dolls)

I wonder who the other three are.

-Jim
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/24/08 01:23 PM

Sorry for the asterisks, but during our recent conversion process I've turned on the language filter and P*ssy is one of the words in the filter.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 01/24/08 03:40 PM

Can we still say ****?
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Postby Brad Henderson » 01/24/08 03:43 PM

apparently not
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/24/08 04:17 PM

You can't "say" anything, but you can write "[censored]" if you want.
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Postby Master Payne » 01/24/08 04:26 PM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
Tim Ellis has done some good research on this, and has discovered who some of the celebrities will be:

Carnie Wilson (daughter of Brian Wilson and member of the 90's group Wilson Phillips)
Hal Sparks (comedian/actor)
Chris Reid (Kid, of Kid N Play)
Kim Wyatt (*****cat Dolls)

I wonder who the other three are.

-Jim
Aren't Celebrities supposed to be people you've actually heard of?

Or am I just getting old?

But then I've never heard of most the "Stars" they have had on Dancing with the Stars either
The only way to become a good magician is to overcome why you became a magician -- Max Maven
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Postby Master Payne » 01/24/08 04:28 PM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
As trained actors they have a huge advantage over "regular" magicians, however I'm always bothered by non-magicians appearing to do magic.
Perhaps though it might encourage more magicians to take acting lessons
The only way to become a good magician is to overcome why you became a magician -- Max Maven
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Postby Master Payne » 01/24/08 04:36 PM

Originally posted by jerry lazar:
VHI has greenlighted Celebracadabra, in which seven TV and film stars vie for the title of Best Celebrity Magician."

I'd be much more interested in seeing a show that teams up TV and Film Stars with seven lucky magicians then teaches them how to become Celebrities.
The only way to become a good magician is to overcome why you became a magician -- Max Maven
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/24/08 05:17 PM

Master Payne, YES, you're getting old. And, it must be admitted, that the definition of celebrity is not what it used to be.

We have a big story on Phenonemon (covering the entire series) by Brad Henderson in our upcoming March issue, where he makes some remarks regarding the celebrities used in the show. I won't spoil your fun, but one of his cracks had me laughing for a day.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 01/24/08 07:52 PM

You were laughing at my crack?!?...just like that awful day in middle school gym class all over again.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/25/08 08:57 AM

You must be on crack, because it wasn't that crack.
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Postby Master Payne » 01/25/08 10:22 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
You must be on crack, because it wasn't that crack.
It's great to see that the level of conversation on the Genii Forum hasn't declined at all since its gone subscription only :)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/25/08 11:18 AM

You can blame the articulate Mr. Henderson for that!
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Postby Brad Henderson » 01/25/08 01:11 PM

Richard started it....Mom, Richard started it.

Thank you...I'm here all week.
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Postby Mark Paulson » 03/15/08 03:55 PM

All the contestants for VH1's Celebracadabra were announced the other day. They are singers Kimberly Wyatt, Carnie Wilson, and Chris Kid Reed; actors C. Thomas Howell and Lisa Ann Walter; and comedians Hal Sparks and Ant. I've only heard of three of them, but the coaches and judges will definitely be entertaining.

The show is scheduled to air on April 20th with 9 episodes.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/15/08 05:44 PM

We have an article, the first of three, by David Regal in our April issue, already in the mail.
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Postby Todd Karr » 03/15/08 05:51 PM

Hey, folks.
Hopefully this post won't violate my confidentiality agreement with VH1.
After David Regal moved from advisor to coach on Celebracadabra, I was hired as magic consultant. We had a blast despite hard work and many egos, as you'll see in the show.
No fears about celebrities looking like instant magicians a la "Circus of the Stars." The celebs are sometimes shown doing imperfect or uninspired performances, which is how one got eliminated each round. From what was filmed - and I hope this comes out in the final show - the producers showed magic as a craft and artform that brings results only through long hours, creativity, and proper rehearsal.
What was astounding was the learning curve we observed as magicians on the show. The celebrities often took a while to grasp how to perform magic, but once they did, we saw some amazing routines with levels of acting and comedy that are essential skills of trained actors and which most self-educated magicians can only hope to achieve.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/15/08 07:20 PM

If you have violated your confidentiality agreement, it's too late now! :)
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Postby Todd Karr » 03/15/08 10:32 PM

Well, if I did, I'll be asked to remove it, so if the post disappears, you'll know why!
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Postby magicp » 04/24/08 12:34 PM

I just saw this new clip from the show... Carnie Wilson is pretty bad...

http://community.livejournal.com/ohnoth ... 65452.html
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/24/08 02:13 PM

We've all produced selected cards and "missed." Every damn one of us, no matter how experienced. So, pissing on someone who's inexperienced (and attempting something very difficult) is poor form. She had the misfortune to make her mistake on national TV. Most of us have only made idiots of ourselves in front of a few laymen.
So don't pile on!
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/24/08 02:22 PM

How about a card in your wallet that says "not even close" on the back just in case?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby JimChristianson » 04/24/08 07:17 PM

Carnie: "Well, f$%k me!" An instant classic!
Right behind, "SHUFFLE those bastards!"

These folks deserve all kinds of kudos for even attempting the stuff they're doing. And with only one day's rehearsal? Brava, Carnie!
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Postby flynn » 04/24/08 08:09 PM

My miss was wrong card through hanky at a quinceneria party. My out was pretending to look for it culled it and replace the wrong card back on top of the deck and erdnased it. It was dark, loud and for a table of family of like four or five people so it wasnt too traumatic.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 04/24/08 10:14 PM

Had a great conversation with Max Maven this afternoon. I'll not be able to post it until the am though. Stand by!
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Postby CHRIS » 05/05/08 04:58 PM

I am just disappointed that there are a list magicians with z list celebrities. Mcbride, Maven, Levit, Regal, and Rocco these are a top notch guys and to give them people like this. I think the worst thing is people like ant are actually going to believe they are a celebrity now. This show should have got other celebrities off vhi. I for one would have loved to see Rocco team up with flavor flav.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 05/05/08 08:26 PM

Simon Lovell had Carnie Wilson attempting something I would have thought was too advanced.
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Postby Tom Frame » 05/05/08 08:40 PM

So, what did everyone think of episode #2?

Keeping in mind that the celebrities only had one day to prepare, the level of the performances ranged from adequate to deplorable.

It was good to see C. Thomas Howell redeem himself.

I was disappointed that none of the judges throttled Chris Reid for saying "hell" and "damn" during his performance for those young kids.

Ant's performance was unconscionable, and served as a potent object lesson in rampart narcissism run amok. His remarks to Max were perfunctorily caustic. Max's responses were beautiful.

Your thoughts?
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Postby JustinRYoung » 05/05/08 08:53 PM

I am pleasantly surprised with the show. Very much dug the first episode and thought the second premise was an excellent way to take the "plot" forward. It bottles the best part of the show... people using their personalities to cement over the understandable cracks in their basic sleight of hand.

I have Kim Wyatt going deep in my office pool... how about you guys?

Also, in Kid's defense he did say "daaaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemn" :)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/08 09:35 PM

The show gets better with each episode. Now that Ant is gone, things get more interesting.
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