May 2012 | Volume 21 | Number 10
COVER: A Tempest at Ted
By David Britland
In the minds of magicians, 21st century illusionist Marco Tempest will always be linked with technology. He has been using video and animation in his shows since the 1990s, creating magical light spectacles and interactive video pieces. Lately, Marco’s career has taken him even deeper into the world of technology. He has been creating a new kind of magic, a combination of digital illusion and performance art, a mix that plays well with the digerati at conferences and summits across the globe. The performances have been incredibly popular. As a result, CNN featured him as their first guest on The Next List, a television show profiling pioneers and innovators. He has appeared at TED conferences several times and given presentations at MIT, Google, and the World Economic Forum. His work is avidly followed on Facebook and Twitter. He has been called a magician for the 21st century, an illusionist perfectly in synch with the technological era.
A Night at the AMA Awards
By Stan Allen
There are 1,800 seats in Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre, and almost half of them were filled with Academy of Magical Arts members and their guests on April Fools’ evening. They were there to take part in the AMA’s annual presentation of awards. For the 44th time, the Academy honored those who had appeared at the Magic Castle in 2011, as well as revered magicians from around the world. In addition to a full report of the evening, Shawn McMaster sat down with the show’s producer/director Max Maven to find out why he took this on and how he felt it went.
Stefan Vanel: Stepping Forward
By Alan Howard
“I was very shy, to the point of it becoming a handicap,” says Stefan Vanel, star of Stefan Vanel at the Harmon Theater, outside the Planet Hollywood resort in Las Vegas. Raised in Paris, France, his parents ran a vacation center where guests would arrive with their families for a week at a time. “If you did not make friends from the beginning, at the start of the week, you were on your own until the next group came in.” Shy Stefan &mash; whose name was originally spelled “Stephane” until he recently changed it to make it easier for non-French speakers to understand – had plenty of time on his own, but he soon discovered a way to ease into social situations: magic.
It Wasn’t Really Telepathy
By Barry Wiley
In the early 1900s, even the esteemed scientist Sir Oliver Lodge was taken in by David Devant’s Translucidation, a routine of theatrical mindreading that Lodge could only credit to supernatural powers. Of course, Nevil Maskelyne and Will Goldston knew better.
Music to My Ears
FISM Grand Prix winner Soma has spent many hours not only on his magic, but on the music that accompanies it. “Music can enhance any act,” Soma says, “no matter what type of magic you do – grand illusion, close-up, kids’ shows, corporate or tradeshows, or any other style of performance.” In “Good and Bad,” part one of this new series, Soma explains how to find good music for an act and what to listen for when you are searching.
Magic in Michigan
On April 5, the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan, debuted its new exhibit, Magic in Michigan, showcasing the many magicians over the years who called Michigan their home. “The list of magicians includes not just those who were born or lived here,” museum director Jeff Taylor says, “but those who have a great story that ties them to the state.” Featured names include Will Rock, Neil Foster, Bill Baird, Monk Watson, Suzy Wandas, Karrell Fox, and Harry Blackstone – Senior and Junior.
Miracles and Magic
The request was simple. Would he please bring some magic to a terminally sick boy in a hospital; it would mean a lot to the child. Like most magicians, Columbus, Ohio–based Jon Petz receives his share of requests for charitable shows, and he does what he can. That particular call, however, ended up changing his life.
Reports on Jon Armstrong’s comic book series, the newest magic shows to pop up in Las Vegas, Hans Klok’s successful run in London, and Hank Lee charged with credit card fraud; more Conventions at a Glance; and remembrances of Cesareo Pelaez, Frank Dailey, Henry Fields, and two lovely ladies from the bygone days of touring illusion shows.
Edited by Gabe Fajuri
Seventeen products are reviewed this month by Farrell Dillon, Peter Duffie, Brad Henderson, and Francis Menotti:
Maelstrom by Tom Stone
Vulcan by Romanos
Detach by Rick Lax
Electric Wireless Whiteboard by Cobra Magic
The Elmsley Count Project by Liam Montier
Card on Tie by Lex Schoppi and Manuel Muerte
Food for Thought by Wayne Dobson
iPredict by Greg Rostami
The Paul Fleming Book Reviews, Vols. 1-3 by Paul Fleming
Replay by Richard Hucko
Bionik by David Penn
Uncle Moe’s ESP Cards by The Magic Warehouse
Jumbo B’Wave by Max Maven
Jumbo Quick Monte by Meir Yedid
Dune’s Day Prophecy by Meir Yedid
Old School Kranzo by Nathan Kranzo
The Jinx Companion by Craig Conley, Gordon Meyer, and Fredrick Turner
Talk About Tricks
The Last Era of the Magic Shop
This month, we open with card legend Jack Carpenter and his impromptu, no-table approach to the Haunted Pack. Bill Goodwin and J.K. Hartman collaborate on a stunning Ace effect, and the issue is rounded out with a quirky broken-and-restored toothpick and several visual card effects.
The Almighty Dollar
At a bar top or restaurant table, you casually talk about the latest advertising technique that some beer companies are currently employing to promote their brand. You then proceed to pick up several cardboard coasters or beer mats, the ones with beer logos printed on them, and run your fingers over each coaster as if searching for some telltale sign. After settling on one, you break open the coaster and find a folded bill tucked inside!
Five Little Words
“Is this your card?” you ask as you pull a signed Seven of Spades from the interior of your just-removed shoe. You can tell by the moment of stunned silence followed by the round of enthusiastic clapping and outburst of laughter brought about by this amazing revelation that indeed it is. You triumphantly fling the selected pasteboard into the middle of the banquet table, strike your applause cue, and humbly take your well-deserved adulations. As you bask in the admiration of your magically entertained audience, you think: It doesn’t get any better than this. Or does it?
#5. Charisma & Likeability
What makes someone stand out? What makes a performer leave a lasting impression? You’ve heard the expression “He’s got it.” It is that irresistible alluring characteristic that defines star quality, desired by many, but possessed by few. When a person with star quality enters the room or walks onto the stage, your eyes automatically go to that person. You don’t want to take your eyes off him or her. George Clooney has it; Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have it. Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning, and David Copperfield all have it. President Kennedy had it, and President Obama has it – that special indefinable star quality. What makes a person charismatic? There are so many things.
This month’s routine has the very strange name of Got Reptiles, for reasons that only one person in a thousand would guess. It offers some new twists on the old Addition Slate idea using an ungaffed pad, along with some completely normal books and a prediction that can be seen by two billion people.
For What It’s Worth
The Artist Formerly Known as $
This column is not about the distribution of wealth in contemporary society. Not about the collapse of the middle class, and not about the profound effect the recession has had on the state of the art. But kind of, it is.
The Case of the Vanishing Conventions
It was a dark and stormy night as I sat in the hotel lobby bar after closing hours, practicing the double-shift sidewinder cut I’d learned from the lecture earlier at the convention. It seemed so long ago as I mused over the evening’s stage show and one of the items I’d seen in the dealers’ room. I took another sip of scotch, knowing that I had to make it last until daylight. I placed the half-empty glass next to my well-worn cards and asked one of my compatriots if he was planning to attend the Magic Jubilee. “Haven’t you heard?” he said. “It was cancelled.”