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Not to be out-done! Magic Magazine puts the most famous silhouette on its cover this month (June). Not only a great issue, but also a work of art to adorn the walls of any magic sanctum. This month features the Professor and an interview with the late Billy McComb.
Dai Vernon: A Legacy of Magic
The Professor dedicated 91 of his 98 years to magic, nearly to the exclusion of all else. Drawing from material in both his new book on Vernon's early life, and his planned volume on Vernon's later years, David Ben describes the master's lifetime of magic.
Also included is "Circa 1915," a trick Vernon performed for other magicians upon his arrival in New York in 1915. It was one of the pieces that helped establish his reputation. The only one who came close to reconstructing it at the time was Dunniger.
David Blaine: Not Drowned Alive
On May 8th, after weeks of heavy hype, David Blaine's special Drowned Alive aired on ABC. The program began during the 175th hour that Blaine had been underwater inside a giant round tank located in New York's Lincoln Center — the longest any human has been submersed in water. A huge crowd gathered for the climax of this liquid stunt. David was to be chained and shackled into place underwater with no air supply. He needed to escape his bonds, of course, but that was a minor feat compared to the real challenge: to hold his breath for nine minutes.
The Little Show That Could
Eighty-five hundred performances. Thirty-five cities. Over $40 million in ticket sales. Sounds like a slow month for Copperfield. But those numbers actually apply to another show, Triple Espresso, which celebrated its tenth anniversary on April 22nd of this year. They are pretty impressive statistics for a little three-man show that began when three solo performers met for coffee and uttered that infamous five-word phrase, "We should write a show."
Keith Barry: Extraordinary
"Not one camera trick, not one set-up, and not one stooge was used. If you want that, find yourself another magician." With those words, the Irish mentalist kicks off his first major American television special for CBS. Keith Barry: Extraordinary aired on Friday, May 12, Barry being the executive producer as well as the star. He's made his burgeoning reputation by performing magic for celebrities; on this hour-long show, the cameras and occasional other bystanders are largely ignored, the focus all going to the celebrity of the moment.
Billy McComb: An Interview
On April 30, the world of magic lost one of its treasures when Billy McComb passed away at the age of 84. A loquacious charmer, Billy was also a walking encyclopedia of conjuring. He was an invaluable resource and a direct inspiration to countless magicians, including many of the best-known performers of the current era. Max Maven sat down for a "short" interview on the evening of August 27, 2005 at the third annual 31 Faces North conference in Toronto, Canada. The interview, conducted in front of an appreciative audience, was set to run about 45 minutes. It lasted an hour and a half.
Reviewed this month:
• Dai Vernon: A Biography by David Ben
• The Shiels Effect by Tony "Doc" Shiels
• Miracles from the Sock Drawer by Paul Gallagher
• Close-Up Elegance by Davide Costi
• The Mechanics of Marvels by Chuck Romano
• Diverting Coin Magic by Andrew Galloway
• Richard Turner The Cheat by Richard Turner
• New York Coin Magic Seminar by Roth, Rubinstein, Latto, & Gallo
• "Phoney" Magnet by Eric Buss
• Houdini Periodical Bibliography by Arthur Moses
• The Best Moments of the Amazing Kreskin
• Killer Elite Pro by Andy Nyman
Talk About Tricks
Joshua Jay has collected tricks from his Scandinavian friends, including Anders Moden of healed and sealed fame. Learn a great impromptu trick, "Gimme Five", an impromptu card from wallet, and a One-Handed Pass among others.