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Magic Magazine September 2008

COVER: Jorge Blass’ “Noting Here” Is Something Rare By Mark Nelson
At a recent appearance in the Palace of Mystery at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, Jorge Blass bounces to the stage and welcomes the Hollywood audience to the show, humorously apologizes for his lightly accented English, then launches into a card manipulation routine that quickly commands the crowd’s attention. It is easy to see that Jorge is a consummate professional. He is a two-time competitor at FISM (in Lisbon and Dan Haag, 2000 and 2003) and winner of Monte-Carlo’s Golden Wand Award and the Siegfried & Roy SARMOTI Award at the Las Vegas Desert Magic Seminar in 2000. Still, the image Jorge projects is totally unpretentious: Wearing a black suit, white shirt, and narrow black tie, he could be your brother or your cousin or, more likely, your best friend — who just happens to be a damn fine magician.

Showmanship For Magicians
By David Goodsell
To the magic world, the name Dariel Ftizkee immediately brings to mind The Fitzkee Trilogy, long considered among the classic books of magic. The first book of the series, Showmanship for Magicians, is credited with changing the careers of many magicians. But who was Dariel Fitzkee and how did his Trilogy come to be?
Born in the Midwest in 1898, Dariel Fitzkee had a brief stint as a Chautauqua performer, then pursued a career in theatrical supplies, which took him to San Francisco in the late 1920s. By 1939, he had published seven small but successful books on magic about performance theory, including Misdirection for Magicians, and was a columnist for Genii magazine. His next book, Showmanship for Magicians, would be based on his experiences producing a remarkable full-evening show. To appreciate the book, it is important to understand the show.

Anatomy Of a Scam
By Tobias Beckwith
Magicians love scams and swindles. Here’s a scammer attempting to scam us! Watch out for these guys. While I personally found the whole thing to be somewhat suspect from the beginning, my friend Scott Hitchcock warned me immediately that he had been approached similarly, and had done some research to find it would be a scammer. It’s easy to do that kind of research on the Internet today, and worth your while. I chose to let the whole thing play out, just to see how it would work — and it did give me a few unpleasant moments, as you’ll read. Remember, this is a true story. Only some of the names of innocent parties have been changed.

The Secrets Of Show Biz
By Rick Marcelli
The saying goes, “The difference between knowledge and wisdom is experience.” I would alter that saying slightly to read, “The difference between knowledge and wisdom is applied experience.” Wisdom is useless if you do not use it. If you do not learn from your experiences and apply those lessons to your life, you will continue to repeat your mistakes.
This article deals with tricks and secrets I have learned over the years as a performer, music agency executive, producer, and personal manager. Many of these secrets will apply to other types of performing artists as well as magicians, and depending on the level of your own experience, some secrets may already be known to you. I hope you can adapt some of these tips to what you do. These secrets are listed in no specific order of importance. Think of this as a “buffet of secrets” where you can take what you need and leave the rest.

IBM-SAM 2008 – It’s All About The Magic
By Andi Gladwin
“A conference for magicians?” the passenger next to me inquisitively asked mid-flight across the Atlantic. “Surely there aren’t enough magicians in the world for a conference to be held for them!” He was genuinely surprised to hear that as many as 2,000 magicians were to descend into Louisville, Kentucky, for a busy week of hustle and shuffle.

It was apparent from the first few minutes after I arrived: this convention was different. There were people here who don’t attend many magic gatherings; it was obvious that this one had some kind of appeal beyond the customary get-togethers that remain circled in the convention veterans’ diaries. It was apparent that the crowd was more eager and more diverse than at the year-in-year-out conventions and there was a glimmer of expectancy in the air. Something exciting was going to happen this week and we were all going to be a part of it.

Television, television, and more television this month. From David Blaine’s new special to a magical Law & Order, from Fox News exposing Criss Angel’s implosion to Phenomenon in Russia, plus America’s Got (more) Talent and Penn & Teller’s got more Bullshit. In Vegas, World’s Greatest Magic Show closes down at the Greek Isles, and Jeff McBride opens up nightly at Palace Station. While magic picks up two inductees into the Speakers Hall of Fame, the latest issue of HSToday (Homeland Security magazine) suggest that magic effects could be used to foil security measures at airports. Sad farewells to Lou Lancaster, Jason Scott, Ken de Courcy, and Chris Pratt. And Cesareo Pelaez clarifies his surprising statement that the July 13 performance of Le Grand David may be its last.

Magic Magazine September 2008
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