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COVER: Tim Cole, Going The Distance
New York City, 1981. Eighteen-year-old Tim Kole had just seen Blackstone Junior's show on Broadway. Tim and a group of other young magicians were outside the theater, having a question-and-answer session with Harry. Tim stepped forward, introduced himself, and thanked Mr. Blackstone for the kind words he had said about his father, illusionist André Kole, on Larry King's show. As the older magician shook the youngster's hand, Harry asked, “And what are you doing now?” Tim replied, “I've left school to pursue magic full time.” That's when Harry slapped Tim across his face. (More about that later.)
For Tim Kole, the slap was par for the course. He is a man who has taken a lot of hits. Perhaps that is why he comes across as almost painfully shy and uncomfortable with strangers. He readily admits that he is much more at ease onstage than he is offstage. Onstage, he is in control of his world; offstage, he is very clearly not. His life has been a bit like - well, like a prizefight.
By Rory Johnston
In His Words, Banachek
Banachek is one of the most highly-respected mentalists working today. Residing in Houston since 1982, a town that he calls “the humidity capital of the US,” Banachek gained notoriety at a young age as part of James Randi's Project Alpha, wherein he and Mike Edwards, another young magician, fooled scientists at Washington University in St. Louis into believing that they had genuine psychic powers. From there, Banachek went on to become a highly sought-after corporate and college entertainer, winning the Campus Performer of the Year award in both 1998 and 1999, and the Campus Novelty Act of the Year in 2000 from the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. He also began consulting for other magicians, designing many innovative effects for them. At the peak of all of this, performing well over 200 shows a year, Banachek was approached by Criss Angel, who was just beginning to put together a television show called Mindfreak and wanted to employ the mentalist's expertise. Banachek accepted and worked on the show's creative team for four seasons. Recently, however, the magic community was surprised to hear that Angel had let Banachek go due to some “creative differences.” Associate Editor SHAWN McMASTERdiscussed with Banachek his many thoughts on mentalism, Mindfreak, and the overall presentation of magic on television.
By Shawn McMaster
Revelation, 103 Years In The Making
The Expert at the Card Table can hardly be called a “breezy read.” It is a technical work that is best read with cards in hand. Erdnase's instructions are concise and his words are carefully chosen. Studying the book is akin to peeling an onion, with new details discovered upon each re-reading. Vernon thought that card magicians might, with some guidance, come to embrace the monumental work of Erdnase. So, in 1959, he started jotting down notes for an annotated version of The Expert at the Card Table. Those notes came to be called Revelation.
The first words that Vernon penned for his Preface in Revelation were: “This is the book I have always wanted to write.” And write it he did, with his dear friend Faucett Ross in just a few short weeks. Getting it published has not been so easy. The author gave it his best shot in 1984, but it took another 24 years to assemble all of the elements and complete the job.
By Mike Caveney
Opening Up Women In Boxes
When actor, writer, and documentarian Blaire Baron married Dante Larsen in 1999, the seed was planted for a feature documentary with the provocative title Women in Boxes. Dante, the son of John and Irene Daniel, was actually born and raised in two magical families (after John and Irene's amicable divorce, Irene married Bill Larsen Jr.), and at the wedding reception of Blaire and Dante, all of the groom's godparents in magic were present - notably Carol Roy, the wife and performing partner of Marvyn “Mr. Electric” Roy. Described by Blaire as a “turbaned, bejeweled, but tiny diva,” Carol entranced Blaire with her outgoing personality and “it ain't all glamour” show-business attitude. During other magical gatherings, Blaire discovered that many of Dante's magical godmothers (all of whom admonished Blaire to “take care of Dante!”) shared similar points of view, not only in their impressions of relationships, but as entertainers.
Deciding at first to make a film about Carol, Blaire quickly revised the plan so that it would include all of the magical assistants to whom she was suddenly related by marriage. Then Blaire began the process of building the project in her head. Now, after a nine-year gestation period, Women In Boxes will have its first public screening this month in Las Vegas.
By Mark Nelson
Conjurations in Kenya
“Drummond and I had had our fill of peddling Bicycles to the English upper classes. We had performed magic together since meeting as boys at Eton College. There we fiddled with our decks underneath the ancient desks and taught each other sleight of hand behind the bike shed. Now both 21 and full of student beans, we were in search of something more authentic - perhaps a more profound response than the genial backslap of the tweedy gent and the gushy enthusiasm of the teenage blonde. We had a nascent plan: We would spend our August 2007 summer holidays in Kenya, perform magic for whomever would watch, and record our adventure. If we could persuade the folks at home to buy copies of the resultant DVD, we might raise enough money to build a school in the place we had visited, a school built by magic.”
By Tom Lyon
Centenary Celebration of Magischer klub Wien
April 1908 saw the birth of one of the oldest magic societies in the world, the Magischer Klub Wien (Magic Club of Vienna). One month earlier, teacher Ludwig Brunner placed an advertisement in one of Vienna's newspapers to look for some amateur magicians with whom he could share his interest. One of the first answers he received came from Ottokar Fischer, the man who later kept Hofzinser's work alive in his books Hofzinser's Kartenkünste (Card Magic of Hofzinser, 1910) and Hofzinser's Zauberkünste (The Magic of Hofzinser, 1943). It was Fischer who encouraged the small group of magic enthusiasts to form a club. And from April 11 to April 13, 2008, that club celebrated its 100th year with events for magicians and laymen alike.
By Wittus Witt
And Much More!