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Another spectacular issue of MAGIC Magazine! This month (November 2006) is packed with everything to get you "in the know" in the magic community. Magic shows, hangouts, tricks, and advice from the industries leaders! Every aspect of this wonderful and challenging art protrude from these pages.
The House Magicians Only Dream Of!
Most American magicians first heard about British illusionist Simon Drake after he graced the January 1992 cover of MAGIC. Back then his groundbreaking series of dark entertainment, The Secret Cabaret, was in its second year of production and still going strong on Channel Four, England's second largest commercial network. The half-hour programs consisted of a fast-paced mix of the bizarre and surreal, along with traditional magic illusions, often performed with gruesome twists. During the past decade it was just assumed Simon Drake vanished from the magic scene all together. His disappearing act, the author assures us, has been intentional. As he retreated from the magic world and the spotlight, Simon's created his own world in Simon Drake's House of Magic. His masterpiece, a 4,000 square-foot Victorian residence secretly located in central London, is the perfect home for England's Master of the Macabre.
From the Garden of Eden
It is unusual to hear of adults speak with audible enthusiasm about anything these days. It is an uplifting reminder of why we all love magic to read responses to the simple question: "Do you remember your first visit to a magic shop?" The author asked that question to: Robert J. Albo, James Alfredson, Gene Anderson, Leo Behnke, Mike Caveney, George Daily, John Davenport, Arthur J. Emerson, Tom Ewing, Volker Huber, Kevin James, Enrique Himenez-Martinez, Peter Lamont, Bob Loomis, James Randi, Lee Siegel, and Teller. Each of their stories has a sense of both awe and gratitude for the beginning of a lifetime vocation or hobby.
You have to hear about Comedian/Magician Tommy Cooper!
Legendary comedian Tommy Cooper was famed as a magician whose tricks were often a burlesque of actual conjuring. It is difficult to explain to anyone who did not live in the U.K. and Ireland during the latter part of the last century how successful he had been, as if Houdini and Chaplin had in a previous age been incorporated in a single body. In his own land the name of no British performer has been more synonymous with magic, while no recent British entertainer has conjured up laughter more readily at the merest mention of his name. As John Fisher shows in this excerpt from his new biography, Cooper remained an enthusiastic, dedicated and true magician to the very end.
"Every great magic trick consists of three acts. The first act is called The Pledge: the magician shows you something ordinary, but of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called The Turn. The magician makes his ordinary something do something extraordinary. Now, if you're looking for the secret... you won't find it. That's why there's a third act called The Prestige. This is the part with the twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance, and you see something shocking you've never seen before." And so begins what the author claims well be the Citizen Kane of magic-themed films. The well-researched Christopher Nolan (Memento) movie, based on the 1995 novel by Christopher Priest, shows a surprisingly realistic portrayal of stage magicians. It even had the big-name star asking himself, "What would Channing do?"
Talk About Tricks
by Joshua Jay
Chastain Criswell's "Box Balance" allows you to suspend a card box on the very tip of one finger. It's not easy, but the result is an inexplicable non-card trick with, well, a card box. You'll learn a squeaky clean Ace and King transposition by Adam Ryan, an effect by Garrett Thomas using your drivers' license, as well as great utility sleights by Luke Dancy, Alex Linian, and Ernesto Melero.
Reviewed this month by Gabe Fajuri, Michael Claxton, Peter Duffie, Brad Henderson, John Lovick, Peter Studebaker:
•The Secret Life of Houdini by Bill Kalush and Larry Sloman
•CoinOne DVD by Homer Liwag
•Brain Drain by Colin Williams
•The Professional Stage Pickpocket by Ricki Dunn
•The Real Secrets of Magic, Volume 1 with David Stone
•The Magic of Steve Dacri: No Filler!
•Sharp-Ring by Patrick Kuffs and Stephane Bourgain
•Cody Fisher on Magic DVD
•Bro. Hamman's Final(ly) Aces by Ron Bauer
Don't miss our ad on page 16, next to the Letter from the Editor! This month's ad features Forcing Elegance, the only book of forces you will ever need!