2016 in Review

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Dustin Stinett
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Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
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2016 in Review

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 1st, 2017, 12:01 am

The Genii Forum’s 2016 In Review

The next thing you know, someone will say that it is 2017 … wait … whaaat?

2016 is gone, and many might say, “Good riddance.” The memorial list is long and filled with names that arrived on it much too soon, and that’s just in magic: the entertainment field took some major hits this year. It has been rough. To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, 2016 wasn't just plain crappy. It was fancy crappy. It was crappy with raisins in it. But there was some good stuff too. Really; there was. Here’s a look back at it, raisins and all.


On the Cover of Genii: 14th Los Angeles Conference on Magic History

The Gray Lady [hearts] Magic

The New York Times rings in the New Year with a couple of articles on magic:

On Belinda Sinclair: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/nyreg ... -well&_r=0

On Jon Dorenbos: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/02/sport ... ref=sports

Oui Oui Mon’Ami

Some of you will need to translate the French Magic Film Festival’s website:

Surprise! (But Not For You)

A young magician tours the David Copperfield’s museum:
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/magicia ... s-36027619

The Ghost of Teller Past

Teller’s youth is featured in a piece in New York Magazine:

How Well Do They Faro?

Some very old playing cards in exhibition at the Met:
http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/li ... ld-in-play

Here We Are: Entertain Us

Teller on Education:
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/ar ... =SFTwitter

… Again …

Cirque du Soleil announces major changes to Criss Angel’s Las Vegas extravaganza, this time including a name change (yeah, that ought to do it). “BeLIEve” is out ... "Mindfreak Live" is in.

Detect the Detective

Michael “Mickey” MacDougall’s appearance on the old To Tell the Truth television program:


On the Cover of Genii: Franz Harary’s House of Magic

Finding the Next Charlie Miller(?)

After announcing that Andi Gladwin has elected to move on, Richard Kaufman begins a search for a new editor of Magicana, the legendary tricks section in Genii

2016 Rears its Ugly Head

The world of magic is stunned by the news of Irene Larsen’s death.

History.com Spreads “History”

Though there is some junk here (per John Cox: “HISTORY is more responsible than anyone for spreading untruths and garbage about Houdini”) there is some good stuff as well, including a video done at the Library of Congress:
http://www.history.com/news/history-lis ... ry-houdini

Hairless Wonder

After pledging to raise $250,000 in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation via the #NoHairSelfie program, on February 4, 2016, David Ben lopped off his iconic hair.
The promotional video featuring some of David’s coin magic:


Who Knew?

New York City had an Official Magician:
http://gothamist.com/2016/02/19/nyc_off ... gician.php

The Floor is Open …

Julie Eng announces that the Allan Slaight Awards for Magic Achievement are open for nominations. There are five categories:

Sharing Wonder – This is awarded for performances for the public completed during 2015. The inaugural award, presented last year, went to Penn & Teller.

Sharing Secrets – This is for work for the magic community released in 2015. This can be anything instructional or historical from books to DVDs to downloadable content. The first award in this category went to Mike Caveney.

The other three awards aren’t 2015-specific and look at work spanning the individual’s whole career: Lifetime Achievement (Johnny Thompson last year), Rising Star – Canadian (Mahdi Gilbert), and Rising Star – International (Henry Vargas of Brazil).

Love Netflix Style

Episode 7 of the television program Love, which is on Netflix, takes place at The Magic Castle. Titled “Magic,” the episode is directed by Steve Buscemi, and its synopsis reads, “Gus sets out to dazzle Mickey on their first real date, but the night doesn't go quite as planned.”


On the Cover of Genii: The Forgotten Stars of Magic

Meet the New Boss

Richard Kaufman: “I'm delighted to announce that Genii will shortly have a new owner, Randy Pitchford.”


2016’s Hits Just Keep on Rollin’

Tom Mullica goes in for a “routine” hernia operation which is apparently botched. Blood clots form and he suffers multiple strokes and organ failure. He is placed into an induced coma.

And then …

The BBC News website posts that Paul Daniels has been "diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour."

Driving with The Professor

Found on the Internet, this rare footage of a road trip with Dai Vernon:
https://videos.files.wordpress.com/8Sbq ... or_dvd.mp4

(For more on this fabulous video, see regular Genii Forum contributor Jack Shalom’s BLOG entry featuring it:
https://jackshalom.net/2016/03/06/drivi ... professor/ )

NPH’s New Thing

Several outlets report the same thing, that Neil Patrick Harris is “collaborating with the producers behind the immersive theater spectacle ‘Queen of the Night’ on a new, magic-themed nightlife project ... Mr. Harris wanted to work with him on an immersive theater project, he said, and Mr. Weiner reached out when he decided on a magic theme for his next one ... Magic is at the core of this venue.”

NPR [hearts] Ricky Jay (and vice versa)

Ricky appears on NPR’s “Bullseye”:
http://maximumfun.org/bullseye/bullseye ... ruce-boyer

A Sneak Peek

Slated to open in May at The Geffen Playhouse, the LA Times does a piece on Derek DelGaudio’s new show:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ar ... story.html


The Yamashiro Restaurant on the hill above The Magic Castle sells for a whopping $40 million. The significance of this sale is that the restaurant was owned by the same family group that owns the building known as The Magic Castle.

There Oughta Be a Law

Well, no, it is considered a “Simple” House Resolution, and that is not a law (it will not go to the president even if it is passed in both chambers of congress). It’s just a formality, and even if it actually went to the senate as well, it would become a “Concurrent Resolution”—and smart money says that ain’t gonna happen. H.Res. 642, “Recognizing magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure,” enjoys the sponsorship of 14 house representatives and has been publicly supported by David Copperfield and the SAM. As of this writing, the resolution has been in committee (House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform) since March 14 and has not been acted upon.

From The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyl ... story.html

Here’s a later piece in Newsweek on it: http://www.newsweek.com/2016/06/03/davi ... 62083.html

Here’s the text of (and everything else you might want to know about) H.Res. 642:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-con ... n/642/text

Pretty Sure Houdini Didn’t Mean This Kind of Bad Press

Jan Rouven is arrested on charges of child porn:
http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-v ... phy-charge


On the Cover of Genii: Irene Larsen

I Forgot He Even Had a Show …

Ricky Jay made an appearance on David Brenner’s talk show (in the mid-1980s), Nightlife (with thanks to MaxNY):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QwTSnu8 ... e=youtu.be

So Much for the “Revolution”

The political climate seemed to even affect (infect?) the elections for the Boards of Directors and Trustees at the Academy of Magical Arts. There was a minority claiming that the organization, which has been enjoying a solid couple of years at all levels, required a “revolution” and that it was coming. The results showed that the membership is happy with the direction of the club. The outcome:

Trustees (in votes received order):

David Regal
Paul Green
Joan Lawton
Mark Wilson
Tom Ogden
Shoot Ogawa
Gay Blackstone

Magician Members (in votes received order):

Jim Steinmeyer
Randy Sinnott
Chip Chalmers
John Gaughan

Associate Members:

Sara Ballantine
Brian Tolman
Catherine Haight

And Hey, This Little Guy Sure Loves the Place …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc-Aqlb ... e=youtu.be

Who Says There’s No Money in Spoon Bending?

From The Hollywood Reporter: “Spoonbenders, a hot manuscript about an eccentric family of magicians (think Royal Tenenbaums with psychics) by Daryl Gregory, has been acquired by Knopf for publishing and Paramount TV for television, in what sources say was a competitive auction on both fronts that involved multiple bidders. Terms of the deal were not announced, but the publishing-side advance is said to be at least in the high-six-figure range.”
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/bookma ... res-883617

Pileggi Comes Clean

Paul Draper hosts a Q&A with The X File's Mitch Pileggi and William B. Davis at Comic Con Fan X. The clip shows Paul bringing up Pileggi's involvement with the "Masked Magician" series. It is worth watching. And watch the whole thing because Paul also talks about another questionable show he did. That is where he admits to being a "whore" at the time and, well, who can argue with that?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yekwfE- ... e=youtu.be

P&T’s New Kit

Penn & Teller have joined the ranks of those magicians that offer their own brand of magic kit, the “Fool Everyone Magic Kit.” On its surface, it’s the classic stuff one sees in these, but the main difference will be an instruction book written by Teller. During her memorial, Teller noted how he immortalized Irene Larsen in the patter of one of the effects. Buy the kit here:
https://pennandtellermagic.com/products ... -magic-kit


On the Cover of Genii: Hokasen

The Latest Gossip ... Harry Lorayne’s 90th

Cindy Adams’ gossip column on PageSix.com is done in the classic style (versus the TMZ kind). Harry Lorayne’s 90th birthday party at Ben’s Kosher Deli in Manhattan made her May 3 installment.
http://pagesix.com/2016/05/03/get-ready ... -broadway/

We [heart] Harry

Steve Cohen posts some great photos of Harry Lorayne’s birthday party on his BLOG:

And a video:

Got Any Loose Change?

Bloomberg’s Paul Barret pens a piece about Criss Angel’s “$70 Million-a-Year Profit Machine.”

Houdini & Doyle

The new television program Houdini & Doyle begins its run on American TV on FOX. Because Dustin likes it, he predicts its demise.

Not Another Magic Show

The mainstream press in Los Angeles begins its love affair with Derek DelGaudio’s show at the Geffen, In and of Itself, which is directed by Frank Oz. (It’s well-deserved.)

It’s on Page Two Thousand and … wait … page 2,000 and Something?

Many people will kick off a thread asking what someone’s favorite tricks are in a 200 page book. How about someone sharing a bunch of notes from a trio of books that encompasses just under 2,600 pages. Forum member Joe McKay shares some of his notes on the remarkable Stewart James books, giving anyone paying attention a peek at just some of the magic to be mined there.

Please Watch … please-please-please

Bill Cook and Greg Frewin appear on NBC’s “Today” show to promote The CW’s “Masters of Illusion.”

Winner, Winner … No Dinner

Winners at the Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show were …

Member-voted awards:

Close-Up Magician of the Year Award – Mike Pisciotta
Parlour Magician of the Year Award – Rob Zabrecky
Stage Magician of the Year Award – Shoot Makoto Ogawa
Lecturer of the Year Award – Doc Eason

Junior Program winners:

Frankie Foti, Jesus "Nexxus" Flores, and Paul Robaia

Board of Trustees named awards:

Creative Fellowship – Tom Stone
Performing Fellowship – Greg Frewin
Literary/Media Fellowship – Will Houstoun
Award of Merit – Erika Larsen
Lifetime Achievement Fellowship – Ton Onosaka
Masters Fellowship – John Gaughan
Magician of the Year Award – Dynamo


On the Cover of Genii: Hannibal

He Must Need the Dough

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that David Copperfield’s new side gig is as a movie producer, noting his involvement in The Prestige, Hugo, and Now You See Me 2:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/p ... und-898517

Speaking of NYSM2 …

Now You See Me 2 is released upon the world to mixed reviews.

The Guy Who Won’t Talk on the Guy Who Couldn’t Walk

Teller reviews Ricky Jay’s Buchinger book in the NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/05/books ... share&_r=1

Mr. Copperfield Goes to Washington

Talking H.Res. 642, David Copperfield appears on Fox & Friends: http://video.foxnews.com/v/493019493500 ... show-clips

And in The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... e=facebook

On NPR: http://www.npr.org/2016/06/10/481558716 ... e-in-magic

In Roll Call: http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/mag ... resolution

And the SAM’s Magic Compass: http://www.magic-compass.com/mr-copperf ... ashington/

Borat, Mandrake … Not Exactly Typecasting

IGN reports that Sacha Baron Cohen has been selected for the updated movie version of Mandrake the Magician. It’s worth noting that it wouldn’t be Cohen’s first brush with a magic themed picture. He was the antagonist in Scorsese’s Hugo.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/06/07/ ... cian-movie

End of an Error

Based on committee lists on the Blackpool Magicians Club site, it becomes apparent that Derek Lever is no longer the dictator n chief of the annual Blackpool Convention.

More David, Because We Need More David

A fine article on David Copperfield and magic appears in Gulf News:
http://gulfnews.com/leisure/movies/feat ... -1.1850279

Pitchford’s Peacock

A feature on Randy Pitchfor’s Peacock Theater, where he enjoys presenting many fine magicians, appears in Guide Live. The catch is that the theater is in Mr. Pitchford’s home.
http://www.guidelive.com/culture/2016/0 ... x-software

Allan Slaight Awards

Magicana and the Slaight Family Foundation announce this year’s recipients of the Allan Slaight Awards:
Ton Onosaka
Lifetime Achievement

Darcy Oake
Sharing Wonder

Richard Kaufman
Sharing Secrets

Jorge Blass
International Rising Star

Luc Langevin
Canadian Rising Star

The Nielsen Collection Auction – Part I of?

Potter & Potter kicked off the first auction of Norm Nielsen’s incredible collection of magic posters on June 25. It results in a total hammer price of $727,680. Some of the highlights:

Lot 20 Blackstone, "World’s Master Magician" – $18,000
23 Dr. Walford Bodie – $10,200
120 Houdini, "The Grim Game" – $24,000
121 Houdini “Water Torture Cell” – $45,600
140 Harry Kellar, Portrait one-sheet – $10,800
142 Harry Kellar, "Levitation" - $15,600
143 Harry Kellar, "Oh!" – $11,400
151 Leon & Company, "Fire and Water" – $10,800
195 Okito Portrait – $26,400
255 Howard Thurston, "Mantle of Magic" – $19,200
257 Howard Thurston, "Levitation" – $11,400

(Thanks to Bill Mullins for the summary)

Part II is scheduled for February 4, 2017:

A Fabulous Waste of Time

Given how much time some of us waste on things like The Facebook, THIS is a much better and more entertaining alternative: David Ben and Julie Eng’s Magicana posts a collection of videos from Canada’s “Magic Palace’ television program from the 1970s and ‘80s. Have fun:

The Chamber is Not Closing

An announcement that the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York—purchased by a Chinese concern for $2 billion—will be closed for “renovations” (code for condos and retail space) puts the future of Steve Cohen’s long-running and marvelous “Chamber Magic” show in question. A later announcement by Mr. Cohen confirms that his show will be moving, the details to be forthcoming (see December …).

Because When I Think The Wall Street Journal, I Think The Magic Castle

The WSJ’s puzzle column features The Magic Castle:
http://blogs.wsj.com/puzzle/2016/06/30/ ... h-week-42/


On the Cover of Genii: Simon Pierro

Quicker than the Eye

With all the beautiful stuff, that’s how quickly the money can vanish from your wallet with Potter & Potter’s new online store:

One Time, in Band Camp, There was this Magician …

Alyson Hannigan (of “American Pie” and “How I Met Your Mother” fame) graces the new season of “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” with her presence. Some didn’t think the show could get better, but it did. (Many ask why she wore the same blue dress in every episode though never asked why the television program’s previous host always wore the same suit.)

Farquhar Firsts

Speaking of “Fool Us,” Shawn Farquhar is the first magician to appear twice on the show. He was the first guest/contestant of the new season, the first to fool P&T on this new season, thus (it should go without saying) making him the first to fool the duo twice. This time he did it with his incredibly entertaining (due to a touch of “The Powers of Darkness” thing going on) and mystifying book test, “Sheer Luck,” thus proving that P&T don’t buy, read, or watch everything available to magicians.

Huff-Po [hearts] Masters of Illusion

Masters of Illusion, both the television program and stage version, receive some love from The Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcberma ... 13014.html

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

A magician uses the hand of one of his hosts on Polish television to perform his “Smash and Stab” routine. What could possibly go wrong? (Warning: “graphic” video):

David’s Fixer-Upper

David Copperfield purchases a home near Las Vegas for, according to The WSJ, a “record” $17,550,000.

Good Company(?)

What do Lance Burton, David Copperfield, Rick Thomas, Brett Daniels, and Nathan Burton have in common? According to Mike Weatherford, Las Vegas Review Journal, they are some of the magicians whose magic that Criss Angel has chosen to include in the relaunch of his long-running Vegas show, now titled “Mindfreak Live.” The problem is that, except for Lance Burton who receives a “shout out” before a piece he made famous, no one else gave him permission to perform their work.
http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/co ... ic-forward

Carbonaro Nabs First Copperfield Prize

The creation of the David Copperfield Prize, administered by the SAM, was announced in June, and it is announced on July 16 that its first recipient is Michael Carbonaro:

Michael Carbonaro has been a pioneer of the hidden-camera magic genre starting with his appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2011. In 2014 Carbonaro launched his hit television series – The Carbonaro Effect – which airs on truTV and continues to bring a growing number of fans into the unique world he has created.

In addition to his work on television Carbonaro’s touring interactive magic show, Michael Carbonaro Live! has performed to sold out crowds across the country. The Copperfield Prize does not just recognize great achievement in the art of magic but achievement that elevates the art form and Michael Carbonaro has done just that.

Mmmm … no

Regardless of the claim made by Bloomberg, Forbes, whose bone fides in this area are well recognized, Criss Angel did not make the list of “Top 100” earners in the field of entertainment. David Copperfield (#20 at $64 million) and Penn & Teller (#94 at $31.5 million) did.

Pugilistic Prestidigitators(?)

In order to be charitable, Brett Daniels wants to beat the crap out of Criss Angel:
http://www.reviewjournal.com/neon/shows ... rawl-video

Moore v. Feldman: 2:16-cv-00200

In another kind of “cage match,” Dr. Timothy Moore is suing Rory Feldman over the authenticity of some Thurston memorabilia:
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories ... -case.html

(As of this writing, the case is still on the docket.)


On the Cover of Genii: Derek DelGaudio

I Be Psychic

As predicted by Dustin, FOX cancels the television program Houdini & Doyle after ten episodes. Sometimes Dustin hates it when he’s right.

A Frog in His Throat

While in Sicily, David Blaine regurgitates a live frog, then swallows it again, for the founders of Google. He says that he is “training” to become a “human aquarium.”

MAGIC Live – Lupe’s Review

Lupe Nielsen pens a fine review of MAGIC Live (with lots of pictures):

Crickets …

At MAGIC Live, Stan Allen announces that he is ending publication of MAGIC and will do one more year of a magazine titled MAGIC Legacy. The news, delivered in a full theater of about 1,000 people, was received with stunned silence.

Let’s be Twisted Again (for Charity)

Criss Angel and Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) release a video, directed by the magician, in support of Angel’s charity, HELP (Heal Every Life Possible):
https://www.yahoo.com/music/dee-snider- ... 06767.html

Staying Relevant

The New York Post runs a piece on Siegfried & Roy that announces their $150 million mini series / documentary:
http://nypost.com/2016/08/22/siegfried- ... cu-series/

Taste the Magic

Coca-Cola announces a new ad campaign featuring magic by Justin Flom: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/coca-cola ... cks-173198

I’d Like to See Boxes 17 and 18 Please …

In the archives at the University of Michigan is a collection of material on Orson Welles. The contents of boxes 17 and 18 “is made up of a relatively small amount of material (approximately 0.5 linear feet) including magic books, scripts for tricks, correspondence with magicians, and playing cards. The material reflects Orson Welles's strong, life-long interest in magic. Magicians who are represented in the series include: Doug Henning, Abb Dickison, Don Bice, John Daniel's, Milt Larsen, and Max Maven.”
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/s/sclead/umic ... ew=reslist


On the Cover of Genii: Ricky Jay and Matthais Buchinger

Houdini Turns Blue

Houdini with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh is released on Blu-ray.

Criss Suits Up

It’s a rarity to see Criss Angel in anything other than his trademark grunge look. It’s so rare that MSN Entertainment noted it in its headline of a story on his appearance at a charity event to benefit pediatric cancer awareness:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/ ... ailsignout

Not Bad for a Guy Who Graduated from Clown School

The Harvard Business Review posts an interview with, and on the life of, Penn Jillette:

2016 Magic Circle Awards

The John Nevil Maskelyne Prize winner for 2016 is Harry Lorayne for his literary contributions to magic.
Awarded for literary contributions to magic.
Winner: Harry Lorayne

The David Devant Award
Awarded to those who have made a significant contribution in advancing the art of magic or who have given outstanding service to magic internationally.
Winner: Lance Burton

The Maskelyne Award
Awarded for services to British magic.
Winner: Dynamo

The Carlton Award
Given to a performer for outstanding comedy in magic.
John Lenahan

The Cecil Lyle Award
Given to the author of the best trick published in The Magic Circular during the past year.
Winner: Katherine Rhodes

The Need to Know

Joe Pecore, the keeper of MagicPedia, reports a spike in searches on the site after airings of the various episodes of the Penn & Teller: Fool Us television program.

300 Bucks? The Jerx!

“Andy” of TheJerx.com fame releases a book of magic and mentalism costing $300 ($260 for those who participated in a fundraising program for the popular site). Of the price of the book, “Andy” writes, “I don't write this site so I can sell books on it. I'm selling books so I can write this site.”

301 and Done

After initially announcing that the final year of MAGIC would actually be a new publication called MAGIC Legacy, Stan Allen announces that, due to less than required response, he has cancelled plans for the new ambitious publication and said that there would be one last issue of MAGIC, #301, released instead. (Those who subscribed to the new venture received refunds.)


On the Cover of Genii: The Magic & Mystery School (McBride, Hass, Burger)

You Should Be Dancin’

In an episode of the television competition program, Dancing with the Stars, dancer Derek Hough (with partner Marilu Henner) performs a quick bit of card manipulation:

25 Years of Women in the Magic Circle

It certainly took them long enough to get there (it’s not like 1991 was the dark ages), but The Magic Circle’s celebration of 25 years of women in their ranks makes Newsweek:
http://www.newsweek.com/how-female-magi ... lub-504185

Fourth Time’s the Charm

Or …

A Promise of Some Really Bad Magic

Deadline Hollywood announces that ABC has ordered a remake of the Gong Show television program. A quick search of IMDb verifies that the 2017 series will be the fourth time the venerable game show, created by Chuck Barris in 1976, has been launched on network television (plus two movies).

It Should Be Official

Mac King is referred to as the “unofficial dean of the daytime set” in The Wall Street Journal’s piece on the various afternoon performers that inhabit Las Vegas:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/sober-crowd ... 1475677902

Me Too! Me Too!

Not to be outdone, David Copperfield appears in the same issue of The WSJ in a piece on his homes in Las Vegas, Manhattan, and his island in the Bahamas:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/david-coppe ... y&mod=e2fb

Some of the Artists, That Is

The Genii Convention announces some of the artists that will appear at the 2017 Genii Convention in Orlando, Florida, on October 4 through 8:

It was Lost, and Now it’s Found Again

A film featuring magic by Georges Méliès once thought to be lost was discovered in a Czech film archive. Its reel had been mislabeled. The two minute silent picture is titled Match de Prestidigitation (Conjuring Contest) was made in 1904.

Travel Time with Dr. Houstoun

On the subject of Georges Méliès, Dr. Will Houstoun’s October 14 BLOG entry talks about the discovered film, and posts footage of another Méliès picture:
http://willhoustoun.tumblr.com/post/151 ... -magicians

Genii and MAGIC … Such a Deal

Richard Kaufman announces that he and Stan Allen have reached an arrangement that will allow those who still had issues of MAGIC due to them could roll those issues into their existing (or create a new) Genii subscription.

The deal between the two publishers also includes that all 25 years of MAGIC will become available in early 2017 on the Genii digital archives, available free to all Genii subscribers.

Okay, So, Third’s Pretty Good

Forbes releases their list of top earning magicians. The top three: David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and in third place (and well short of the amount claimed by Bloomberg earlier in the year) is Criss Angel:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/hayleycucci ... e3f0d33be8

Never Mind That He’s in Genii, This is Exclusive Exclusive

Labeled as an “exclusive,” The Huffington Post produces a piece on Steve Spill, Genii’s May 2015 cover boy:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-c-mi ... 14606.html

It’s His Last, Last, Last Last Last, Last …

Frankly, I don’t care how many times Harry Lorayne says it’s his last book, just so long as he keeps writing them. This one is Only MY Apocalypse, and features Harry’s (updated) magic and his “Lorayne Storms,” Editorials, “Ellipses(…),” and “Out to Lunch” columns.

One Night Only

The 60th (sort of) edition of Milt Larsen and Terry Hill’s “It’s Magic” is presented at the historic (if not somewhat crumbling) Wilshire Ebell Theatre on October 29. Read about it here:


On the Cover of Genii: Magic University: Ståhl and Stone

Safety Magic

The preflight safety video on Turkish Airlines is magical and entertaining (whatever it takes to get people to watch this important information):

Inside the Egyptian Hall Museum

LA Weekly posts a series of photos on some of Pasadena's historic homes. While many houses are shown, the majority are from the inside of Mike Caveney and Tina Lenert's Craftsman home. It’s a rare treat for fans of magic:
http://www.laweekly.com/slideshow/a-pee ... 7610621/57

Blaine’s Return

David Blaine returns to primetime network television (ABC) with a new special that airs on November 15. Titled Beyond Magic, the show features celebrity guests rapper Drake, NBA star Steph Curry, Dave Chappelle, Johnny Depp, John Travolta, Patrick Stewart, Emma Stone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Catching a bullet in his teeth—for real—is the main stunt (and yes, he also did the frog regurgitation bit he was working on earlier in the year).

New Documentary Premieres

Magicians: Life in the Impossible, a documentary by Marcie Hume and Christoph Baaden premieres in Hollywood. It features Jon Armstrong, David Minkin, Brian Gillis, and (controversially, because it doesn’t mention his legal issues) Jan Rouven. The picture is receiving high marks from magicians and the laity, at whom the movie is aimed. It is available on virtually all digital platforms.

Don’t Know What it Means, But …

Richard Kaufman’s announcement that the Genii Magazine Internet universe is now HTML seems important, and it does seem to work better.

When Magicians Get Caught Up in Internet Fads …

Flash mobs, ice bucket challenges, planking, now it’s the mannequin challenge, and The Magic Circle is (well) up to the task: https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments ... the_magic/

Would Harry Approve?

Deadline Hollywood reports that Daniel Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) is in talks to take over the on again-off again-on again picture based on Bill Kalush and Larry Sloman’s book The Secret Life of Houdini.

What Will He Want to Measure Next?

Criss Angel says most of David Coppefield’s Twitter Followers are “purchased.”

Ricky Jay Returns to the Stage

Ricky Jay opens a three night engagement of Cons, Cards and Conversation at the Loreto Theater in New York. Richard Kaufman promises a full review in the February 2017 issue of Genii.

Magic Returns to the Palace

It was the pinnacle; the absolute top of all Vaudeville circuits: the Palace Theatre in New York. “The Illusionists: Turn of the Century” opened in the historic house with its raft of great performers, all harkening back to those glorious and golden days of entertainment. The show stars Mark Kalin–The Showman, Jinger Leigh–The Conjuress, Charlie Frye and Sherry–The Eccentric, Amélie van Tass and Thommy Ten–The Clairvoyants, Dana Daniels–The Charlatan, Justo Thaus–The Grand Carlini, Jonathan Goodwin–The Daredevil, and Rick Thomas–The Immortal. The show is scheduled to run through January 1, 2017.


On the Cover of Genii: Julie Eng

The Eccentric Speaks

Charlie Frye chats with Broadway World about himself and the above mentioned show at the Palace:
http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/BW ... -20161206#

And So Does The Charlatan

Dana Daniels (who you can see at the next Genii Convention) opens up to BWW as well:
http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/BW ... S-20161207

Obi Wan Harary

Franz Harary reveals that he has been working with Disney and Lucas Films on a Star Wars Rogue One themed travelling attraction that opens in South Korea.

Movin’ Time

After the announcement that the Waldorf Astoria was going (mostly) condo, Steve Cohen’s show, “Chamber Magic,” would need to relocate. The “Millionaires’ Magician” reveals where his terrific show is going in—where else—Forbes (it’s the Lotte New York Palace just a block over on—where else—Madison Avenue):
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jerylbrunne ... f176ed1cb0

Top Ten

According to Marshall Petersen of H&R Books, the following are the top ten selling items (at H&R) of 2016, and though a “Top Ten,” they appear in “no particular order”:

Hidden Agenda - Roberto Giobbi
The Aretalogy of Vanni Bossi
LAP DVD set by Dani DaOrtiz
The Secrets of So Sato
Mentalissimo by John Bannon
Magic Square Methods and Tricks by Jim Solberg
Stand Up Card Magic by Roberto Giobbi
Mel Mellers The Traveling Trickster
Asymptotes by Ben Blau
Out of My Hat: The Magic of David Garrard

Rent Control

Randy Sinnott, the president of the Academy of Magical Arts, announces that the AMA Board of Directors and the property owners of The Magic Castle—Magic Castle Parks, LLC—have entered into a 12 year lease of the building as well as the all-important parking lot (the unpolished gem of the several properties that encompass the entirety of “The Magic Castle”). It is the first time the AMA and its landlords have had a written, long-term lease in the organization’s history. The announcement allays any fear of a disinterested third party buying the building and taking it condo.

Generally Speaking …

Including the Posts About Richard Burton and Jenny Agutter…

The Erdnase thread reaches 120 pages, 4,770 replies (to the original post), and 1,707,407 views.

To Absent Friends

Here is the unavoidable list of those we lost this year. Please take a moment to remember them and/or think of their families, friends, and fans who will never forget them (and please forgive me if I missed someone):

Charles Amaral, Jr.
Carlton Appleby
Bob Brown
Bronwyn Clare (Joe Devlin's wife)
Paul Daniels
Dennis DeBondt
Abb Dickson
JC Doty
Laura Eisele
Pierre Étaix
Oliver Filippi
Paul Fried
Glenn Gary
Julie Goell (Avner The Eccentric's talented wife)
Nino Guerrero
Lesley Hazlitt (Piddington)
Roy Johnson
Jacosa Kato (a primary assistant of Jonathan Pendragon)
Hy Kaufman
Judith Klosterman (Ken's wife)
Don Kuehne
Irene Larsen
Pat (Patterson) Lyons
Majestik the Magnificent
Peter Marucci
Jerry Mentzer
Jack McCandless
Tom Mullica
Paul Osborne
Abel Pabón
Jim Patton
Vic Pinto
Jeremy Le Poidevin
Jon Randall
Harry Riser
Chris Rogers
Patti Scharzman (Howie's wife)
Eric Sharp
Ken Simmons
Jose "Pepe" Sousa
Derek Verner

* * * *

So here it is, 2017. Will it be better or worse than 2016? In many ways, that’s up to each of us. As for the rest, we have no control. Just hold on tight and dig the ride as best you can.

As always, thanks for reading. I wish you good health, happiness, and peace in 2017.


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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby CraigMitchell » January 1st, 2017, 1:15 am

May I be the first to say ... thank you, Dustin ! Your year in review is always a highlight !

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby erdnasephile » January 1st, 2017, 8:17 am

I heartily second that notion!

A treat as always--great work, Dustin!!!

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby Joe Mckay » January 1st, 2017, 10:41 am

Great as always, Dustin!

And thanks for linking to my Stewart James thread. I went back to that thread and added my notes focusing on Stewart James's non-card effects.

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby performer » January 1st, 2017, 10:58 am

Ah, so Derek Verner DID pass away! I was wondering about that.

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby Bill Mullins » January 1st, 2017, 11:32 am

performer wrote:Ah, so Derek Verner DID pass away!

You don't have to seem so pleased about it . . . .

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 1st, 2017, 11:41 am

Thanks, Dustin, you always do a superb job with this.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby Bill Mullins » January 1st, 2017, 11:55 am

Yes, this is always something to look forward to. Thanks.

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby performer » January 1st, 2017, 3:34 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
performer wrote:Ah, so Derek Verner DID pass away!

You don't have to seem so pleased about it . . . .

I am offended about that. I am very sorry to hear it in fact. I had hoped he was still alive because Richard reported he was fine on another thread. I can guarantee I got on a hell of a lot better with Derek than you ever did. We liked each other a lot.

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby magicfish » January 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm

Thanks for that Dustin, great reading.

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby Tom Gilbert » January 1st, 2017, 10:40 pm

Great job as usual Dustin. The list at the end was worse than I thought it would be.

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 2nd, 2017, 12:37 am

Thanks all. I appreciate the comments.
And yes, that list is much too long.

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Re: 2016 in Review

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 4th, 2017, 10:29 pm

For the record, I just added a name to the memorial list. I wanted it there "for the record."

I just learned that my friend Jack McCandless passed away in November.

Jack was the assistant manager (then manager) of the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa location of Hollywood Magic. I lost touch with Jack many years ago, but I think of him often. Quite a few of the books in my library were sold to me by Jack, and many as a result of his recommendations. He knew what kind of magic I liked and did and I cannot recall him ever being wrong about something that I'd like. He was an excellent demonstrator, never put on the hard sell, and I never saw him sell something to someone who had no business getting it.

Rest well Jack. You were an important part of my "misspent" youth.

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