Search found 440 matches

by Max Maven
May 15th, 2013, 9:30 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: What American Idol has to do with magic
Replies: 24
Views: 2804

Re: What American Idol has to do with magic

If you have access to HBO On Demand, there's a new documentary, Patti LuPone: A YoungArts Master Class.

Thirty minutes, four young singers; each performs and then receives critical advice from LuPone, some of which is astonishing.

Quite relevant to this discussion.
by Max Maven
April 22nd, 2013, 3:30 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Max and Magic Movies
Replies: 13
Views: 1675

Re: Max and Magic Movies

Glad to know that someone is listening to those audio columns. While The Illusionist and The Prestige both had some good moments, and both had nice costumes, production design, and other fine technical achievements, both of them (to me; obviously, these are subjective judgments) failed to understand...
by Max Maven
April 21st, 2013, 3:08 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Centerfolds of Magic
Replies: 40
Views: 7309

Re: Centerfolds of Magic

This should be discussed in context. From the 1970s, virtually all of the production shows in Las Vegas had topless female dancers. At that time, Vegas was not the family destination that it is today. This started to change in the 1980s. The first show to offer a "covered" early show (init...
by Max Maven
April 14th, 2013, 7:36 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Should you still use material that you've sold?
Replies: 127
Views: 8682

Re: Should you still use material that you've sold?

Richard, I'm probably one of the few people on this forum who has actually taken legal action in a case of theft of intellectual property. So, I can state that the presumption that "magic has no [legal] protection is inaccurate. There is, thus far, relatively little case law established on this...
by Max Maven
April 10th, 2013, 10:38 pm
Forum: Close-Up Magic
Topic: Cards to eyeglasses
Replies: 6
Views: 998

Re: Cards to eyeglasses

The previously posted provenance is correct; the idea was from Rick Johnsson.
by Max Maven
April 4th, 2013, 4:43 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Vanishing Tiles Video
Replies: 23
Views: 2893

Re: Vanishing Tiles Video

Moo writes: "The Winston Freer Puzzle has been made by several people, but it requires pieces of different sizes, since one of the pieces must nest within another. Pierre Meyer makes a beautiful one at the moment." Not so. The nesting idea was devised by Pierre, and it is devilishly clever...
by Max Maven
March 30th, 2013, 7:58 am
Forum: Mentalism & Mental Magic
Topic: Dan Baines' "A Book at Midnight" Effect
Replies: 2
Views: 2392

Re: Dan Baines' "A Book at Midnight" Effect

The principle behind this effect can be applied to a wide variety of presentations... Need. It is known as the Transposed Card Principle, much explored by Walter Gibson and Stewart James, among others. (See, for example, SJ's "Split Second" in the December 1962 New Tops . The name comes f...
by Max Maven
March 28th, 2013, 4:13 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Incredibly Stinky Burt Wonderstone?
Replies: 60
Views: 8833

Re: The Incredibly Stinky Burt Wonderstone?

Well, I finally saw this movie. There were about twenty people in the audience. Perhaps they were laughing, but if so, they were drowned out by the sound of crickets. Actually, that's not completely fair. There was precisely one gag that struck me as funny (and, audibly, the same for some other memb...
by Max Maven
March 28th, 2013, 4:10 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Shouts & Murmers - Magic in The New Yorker
Replies: 9
Views: 996

Re: Shouts & Murmers - Magic in The New Yorker

Marriage? That would depend on a variety of factors, not the least of which being the results of the current Supreme Court cases.
by Max Maven
March 27th, 2013, 4:51 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Dolts in the Media and Royal Road to Card Magic
Replies: 10
Views: 1376

Re: Dolts in the Media and Royal Road to Card Magic

Why would you extend that invitation? (Remember what Heinlein said about musical pigs.)
by Max Maven
March 27th, 2013, 4:45 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Shouts & Murmers - Magic in The New Yorker
Replies: 9
Views: 996

Re: Shouts & Murmers - Magic in The New Yorker

Something only a person who doesn't read Harper's would say.
by Max Maven
March 26th, 2013, 3:15 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Shouts & Murmers - Magic in The New Yorker
Replies: 9
Views: 996

Re: Shouts & Murmers - Magic in The New Yorker

I found it rather lame -- not because it attempts to poke fun at magic, but because it's not very funny, nor is it very clever, and its certainly not very original.

Remember when the New Yorker was sophisticated and amusing?
by Max Maven
March 26th, 2013, 3:12 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Princeton offers"The Mathematics of Magic Tricks and Games"
Replies: 4
Views: 1218

Re: Princeton offers"The Mathematics of Magic Tricks and Gam

But the 27-Card Trick has a history -- not only a conjuring history, but an explicit math history. It is properly known as Gergonne's Problem, referencing the French mathematician who did not invent the trick (it is older), but was the first to give it a mathematical analysis, in 1813. What the hell...
by Max Maven
March 22nd, 2013, 10:19 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Bill Kalush--Wall Street Journal
Replies: 14
Views: 1839

Re: Bill Kalush--Wall Street Journal

In addition to the FISM award, Bill received a Literary Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts (Magic Castle). Both awards were well deserved.
by Max Maven
March 18th, 2013, 10:17 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Magic as Theatre: An Academic Struggle
Replies: 14
Views: 2251

Re: Magic as Theatre: An Academic Struggle

I agree with Tom and others. The lecturer you spoke to seems to be an idiot. At the very least, he has no understanding of theater. (I shudder as I wonder what his lecture topics are.) To insist that theater must be linear is to ignore much of the history of theater. It's as simple as that. If your ...
by Max Maven
March 18th, 2013, 10:11 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Derren Brown - Infamous - A Review
Replies: 62
Views: 8045

Re: Derren Brown - Infamous - A Review

Curiously enough, the first Broadway show to abuse the tradition of not reviewing during previews was Doug Henning's Merlin , which stayed in previews for an unprecedented amount of time. Internet or no, the understanding the critics will hold off from reviewing a show until its formal opening is st...
by Max Maven
March 11th, 2013, 3:03 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Incredibly Stinky Burt Wonderstone?
Replies: 60
Views: 8833

Re: The Incredibly Stinky Burt Wonderstone?

Haven't seen it yet. I opted not to go to the free screening, because rather than see it surrounded by magicians I prefer to wait and see it with a lay audience. I'll be interested in their reactions. The trailer indicates that it's well made, but suggests I won't care for it -- but I shall endeavor...
by Max Maven
March 11th, 2013, 12:56 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Incredibly Stinky Burt Wonderstone?
Replies: 60
Views: 8833

Re: The Incredibly Stinky Burt Wonderstone?

My reaction was different.

"Oz the Great and Powerful" was neither, but it was long.

Some lovely visuals, but that did not outweigh the weak script and some poor performances.
by Max Maven
February 22nd, 2013, 1:15 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Please Put On Your Thinking Caps: Who Invented "Well, I Never!"
Replies: 15
Views: 1425

Re: Please Put On Your Thinking Caps: Who Invented "Well, I Never!"

I've always associated this trick with England, because I first saw it in a Davenport's catalog from the mid-1950s. I still own that catalog, but do not know where it is at the moment. The earliest references I've located are also English. In 1953 it was advertised by Max Andrews' Vampire Magic as &...
by Max Maven
February 22nd, 2013, 12:20 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Imam at Mostly Magic
Replies: 4
Views: 1149

Re: Imam at Mostly Magic

I'm pretty sure it was 1987. It was a show taped for Japan's NHK network (hence the incessant Japanese voice over commentary, which was standard at that time).
by Max Maven
February 20th, 2013, 2:24 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Trick That Fooled Einstein
Replies: 10
Views: 1592

Re: The Trick That Fooled Einstein

Al Koran did not invent this trick. Its origin is not certain, but it dates back at least as far as the late 1920s, and is probably older.

Koran began his professional performing career in 1952. Einstein died in 1955. It seems unlikely that they ever met.
by Max Maven
February 14th, 2013, 7:54 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Digital Version of the March Issue of Genii is Now Live
Replies: 32
Views: 3548

Re: The Digital Version of the March Issue of Genii is Now Live

Richard writes: "Fans of Charles Schultzs Peanuts will find an unlikely ally in Max Maven this month...."

Fans of Charles Schulz will know how to spell his surname.
by Max Maven
February 14th, 2013, 7:49 pm
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Peer Reviewed Journal article about Misdirection, P&T
Replies: 8
Views: 1599

Re: Peer Reviewed Journal article about Misdirection, P&T

The ongoing problem is that they are trying to analyze a phenomenon ("social misdirection") that is based on a live interaction, but doing so by testing with a taped performance. That is akin to analyzing how the combining of foods produces taste perceptions by showing subjects episodes of...
by Max Maven
February 14th, 2013, 7:32 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Necessary ingredient for becoming a great performer?
Replies: 6
Views: 1368

Re: Necessary ingredient for becoming a great performer?

Interesting essay, with a very valid point. However, using Dai Vernon as an example of a one-dimensional person is a poor choice. The Professor was well read, and interested in a host of things outside of magic. But, few magicians wanted to talk to him about these other subjects. I was happy to have...
by Max Maven
February 12th, 2013, 2:53 am
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: prominent blog praises Sleights of Mind
Replies: 37
Views: 5381

Re: prominent blog praises Sleights of Mind

You are completely wrong about Ricki Dunn's act. When he added the shirt pull, he used a stooge, but that was not an essential component of the act. Everything else was legit -- and all done while holding a lemon in one hand!
by Max Maven
February 11th, 2013, 10:12 pm
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: prominent blog praises Sleights of Mind
Replies: 37
Views: 5381

Re: prominent blog praises Sleights of Mind

Richard, in your comment on that blog you state that "most pickpocket acts are fraudulent." That is opposite to my knowledge. Yes, there have been stage pickpockets who have used stooges, but I think they are in the minority.

Ricki Dunn, Gentleman Jack, Borra...
by Max Maven
February 5th, 2013, 3:00 am
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Maurice Fogel Cheating the Gallows
Replies: 5
Views: 1110

Re: Maurice Fogel Cheating the Gallows

I do not believe such footage exists. Chris Woodward (Fogel's son-in-law) has searched extensively, and that is not among the material he's found.
by Max Maven
February 5th, 2013, 2:57 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Who is the next "Criss Angel?"
Replies: 17
Views: 2370

Re: Who is the next "Criss Angel?"

Doug Thornton wrote:I wonder if Cyril could find an audience besides Japan.


He already has, in other parts of Asia.
by Max Maven
February 3rd, 2013, 3:41 am
Forum: Columns
Topic: Tom Stone's Definition of Magic
Replies: 45
Views: 11956

Re: Tom Stone's Definition of Magic

I think we might need the word illusion in there, or something to the effect of "presenting something seemingly impossible." I do not agree. There can be magic without illusion, and even without impossibility. If I put a playing card on the table, you name a card, then turn over the table...
by Max Maven
February 2nd, 2013, 7:36 pm
Forum: Columns
Topic: Tom Stone's Definition of Magic
Replies: 45
Views: 11956

Re: Tom Stone's Definition of Magic

Edward: Perhaps the response is emotional, but it's routed through the intellect. Tom: I acknowledge your emoticon, but just to be clear, in English the word "mystery" has a very different meaning when applied to someone like Camilla Lackberg. Actually, when rendered in print, my definitio...
by Max Maven
February 2nd, 2013, 3:11 am
Forum: Columns
Topic: Tom Stone's Definition of Magic
Replies: 45
Views: 11956

Re: Tom Stone's Definition of Magic

Over the years, the best definition of magic that I have managed to build is:

The aesthetic exploration of mystery.
by Max Maven
January 23rd, 2013, 7:55 pm
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Steinmeyer's Nine Card Problem
Replies: 11
Views: 2458

Re: Steinmeyer's Nine Card Problem

A much earlier use of the same principle can be found in ABBOTT'S ANTHOLOGY OF CARD MAGIC VOLUME THREE compile by Gordon Miller. The trick is "Miracle Mix-Up" by Jack Yates (pp. 58-60).. Those three anthologies were compilations of older material -- manuscripts, book and magazine contribu...
by Max Maven
January 18th, 2013, 5:35 pm
Forum: Magician's Local Hangouts
Topic: Native and Foreigner Magicians in Japan?
Replies: 11
Views: 65498

Re: Native and Foreigner Magicians in Japan?

Going to Atami for excitement is like taking Valium for excitement. Atami is a hot springs resort, and you go there to unwind.
by Max Maven
January 13th, 2013, 7:17 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Imam founder of Mostly Magic dies
Replies: 14
Views: 3215

Re: Imam founder of Mostly Magic dies

Imam was, quite simply, one of the best magicians I have ever seen. I often wondered if he knew just how good he was.
by Max Maven
January 11th, 2013, 7:59 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Magic Castle on The Today Show
Replies: 5
Views: 1259

Re: The Magic Castle on The Today Show

The Today Show piece had nothing to do with CAA.
by Max Maven
January 9th, 2013, 1:56 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Announcement of a Secret Project
Replies: 192
Views: 25271

Re: Announcement of a Secret Project

erdnasephile wrote:Was there ever a good magician who spent time with Vernon that he didn't tongue-lash?


The Professor was willing and able to criticize when he saw fit. But, it was rarely as abusive as people now imagine.
by Max Maven
January 3rd, 2013, 6:23 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: 2012 In Review
Replies: 46
Views: 7018

Re: 2012 In Review

Richard, your perception of the importance of New York is provincial and antiquated. I was certainly pleased that Dustin included my three-week off-Broadway run, but the ongoing success of Derek & Helder's show in L.A. is more significant, and hence more worthy of inclusion. That said, as usual,...
by Max Maven
December 21st, 2012, 10:03 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Is this magical ... or just creepy?
Replies: 10
Views: 1429

Re: Is this magical ... or just creepy?

It's magical. The creepy part is that the idea belongs to someone else.
by Max Maven
December 19th, 2012, 8:23 am
Forum: Close-Up Magic
Topic: Divination of the Nile
Replies: 11
Views: 1146

Re: Divination of the Nile

I provide some historical background in the explanation section of the Nothing DVD set, clarifying some credits. At the moment, I'm thousands of miles away from home, so I do not have access to the disc or a player -- but if someone wants to transcribe that information and post it here, it's fine wi...
by Max Maven
December 19th, 2012, 8:19 am
Forum: Close-Up Magic
Topic: Galleys/pageproofs?
Replies: 11
Views: 1482

Re: Galleys/pageproofs?

Harry leaving 62 Jane St. -- a great loss in the area of mnemonic amusement.

Fortunately, my mailing address is still #382, as I've tried to carry on the tradition.

(And if you don't understand what I'm talking about, get one of Harry's non-magic books and read up on Number Alphabet.)

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