Category: Uncategorized

Non-Magic, Strictly Speaking

Inside Magic prides itself in bringing the very latest magic news to magicians around the globe.  Our tens of readers depend on us for such news and we hope to never disappoint with filler or advertisements cloaked as magic news.  We obviously had some stumbles in both departments over the past 20 years we’ve been publishing.

Who can forget (unfortunately none of our readers) our filler contributions:

Spoons are Great! – June 22, 1994

Why We Love Automobiles – March 17, 2001

Magic Backwards is Cigam! – December 1, 2017

Spoons Continue to be Great! – February 2, 2018

None of these were worth the space on which they were written and each of which garnered harsh (appropriately so) criticism from readers.

In the category of advertisements:

Magic Miracle Ointment Removes Warts and Bad Breath – August 5, 1992

Here’s a Skateboard that Tells the Future – October 11, 1996

Why You Should Hire a Unicyclist for Your Next Event – January 31, 2001

This Pasta Will Make You Rich (without Sauce) – May 30, 2017

Gold for Free! – September 8, 2018

Your Saliva May Cure Others – December 31, 2018

Notwithstanding our failures in ethics and proper advertising regulations, we do run across non-magic items that we want to bring to our dear readers’ attention.  We have just such an item today.  It comes from our favorite comedy team of all time, Laurel and Hardy.

The clip is not Magic per se or even per quod but it warms our cold, bitter heart and brings a smile to our misaligned visage without fail.  Check out the clip from Way Out West — one of our very favorite Laurel and Hardy films.

Advertisements

Masters of Magic Moves to Turin

Inside Magic Image of Ask Alexander LogoThe Masters of Magic Convention is on the move from Saint-Vincent to Turin, Italy.  For those already invested in the event, the good news is that only the location has changed.  The dates, the program, the organization, and the cast will be exactly the same.  The great news for those who did not previously sign up for what is promising to be an incredible event is that there is still time to join.

According to organizers, Turin made a strong case for moving the convention to their location.  Locations and hotels will be identified to participants in the near future.  But the good news is that the prices will not increase despite the fact that the number of performers will increase and the convention will have additional activities outside of the convention and even a special program for non-magician guests.  The seats previously selected for the big Gala Show will stay the same too.

The World Championship of Street Magic will as well be organized in Turin on May 17-18-19.  If you think you have what it takes or would just like to see what you have, drop a note to mario.baldantoni@mastersofmagic.tv for an application form.

So, let’s recount.  The convention is moving to Turin – a great city with an amazing history – adding features for magicians and non-magicians alike, holding the Street Magic competition and keeping the same prices.  Who will be there you ask? Oh, some folks you may have heard of before such as: Derek DelGaudio. Luis Piedrahita, Marco Tempest, Juan Tamariz, Morgan Strebler, Niek Takens, Raul Cremona, Luis Otero, Roberto Giobbi, Stuart MacDonald, Jay Sankey, Den Den, Aaron Pang, Omar Pasha.  Organizers promise even more to come.

We are finagling our books and working favors to find a way to attend.  It sounds like our kind of event.  If you are interested in learning more, check out their website here.

Dai Vernon’s Legacy

Classic Image of Dai VernonThis cannot be an endorsement of Magician Edward Brown’s book (The Card Magic of Edward G. Brown by Trevor H. Hall and Andi Gladwin) because we have not yet had the chance to read it.  But when you have praise from the true Dean of Magic, Dai Vernon, one’s attention must be drawn.  “England’s finest sleight-of-hand performer.” That is what Dai Vernon said of this performer and yet we never heard of him. 

Dai Vernon’s word is good enough for us. 

In our youth we had a chance to watch Mr. Vernon perform close-up (within a few inches on one occasion) and he astounded us. 

He astounded us to the extent we had an existential crisis.  On a warm afternoon in May of 1974, five hours after we won the Florida State Magic Close-Up Award as a 14 year old, we encountered Mr. Vernon sitting beneath a large table umbrella.  While we were convinced our win was due to luck we were still a bit full of pride as we sat down near the master.  We were feeling our oats or whatever we had stuffed in our pockets to provide sustenance during at our first magic convention. 

We sat with Mr. Vernon on the pool deck of the beautiful Langford Hotel.  It wasn’t a private audience – we were one of ten or so magicians of all ages – but it felt special and private.  We studied the famous Stars of Magic publications and even could perform some of Mr. Vernon’s effects – not well.  What we saw that afternoon was too much.  There was no rush, no strange configuration of fingers, apparently no distraction – although we knew there had to be – and no end to the incredible card and coin magic performed. 

Being 14 and having acne problems weighed in our existential decision.  We didn’t have the suave manner of Mr. Vernon.  We couldn’t perform sleight of hand whilst holding a drink or cigarette.  We couldn’t even legally drive in the state of Florida. 

We knew, at that moment, that our freshly gained title would not serve as a sufficient bed of laurels upon which we could rest.  But, we wondered, did we have the innate ability to perfect our sleight of hand to the level of this phenomenon.  Again, Mr. Vernon never rushed, never gave a hint of performing anything other than what the audience could see.  We, on the other hand, feared being caught out with sleights and our clumsy palming talent that was usually distracted by humor. 

We are proud that we took the path we did.  We resolved in that moment that while we could never master the true Master’s ability, we could be inspired by him to continue working and performing in his style – never rushing, nothing out of the ordinary, sharing in the magical experience with the audience.  An audience willingly in attendance to watch something they could not explain but enjoyed.

We could have given up magic in that moment. 

Despite our big trophy and gift certificate with which we purchased “Instant Art” by Supreme Magic ($25.00).  But we didn’t.  Now decades later, we have come nowhere near the perfection we sought.  In fact, as we have aged, our hands have grown drier, our moves less certain and our reliance on humor to hide our moves has only intensified.  Still, before we perform – especially at the Magic Castle – we think about Dai Vernon and his kindness to our younger self and his encouragement to continue “what you’re doing.” 

It was hardly the endorsement received by Mr. Brown but, to come full circle, it provides a great incentive to learn more about the performer who received such accolades from the man we respected so well. 

We look forward to reading the new book from Vanishing Inc.  You can do the same by clicking here.