31 October 2019

Top 5 posts in October 2019

There were 35+ posts at Canada's Magic last month.  Here are the 5 most viewed posts in the past 30 days:


5. Toronto: Asi Wind Jam Session and Hangout! - Sounds like a great time was had by all.
4. Ontario Week of Wonder recap - By all accounts it was definitely a wonderful week!
3. Toronto: Win tickets to see "The Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy" - Thanks again to the Eldritch Theatre for offering this wonderful prize!
2. October 2019 sale: 30% off yearly sponsorship rates! - Today's the last day folks.

and the most viewed post this month  ...






1.Win tickets to see "The Art of Magic with Asi Wind" - Thanks again to the Toronto Magic Company for offering this wonderful prize!

Winner of tickets to see "The Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy"

The contest to win a family prize pack of tickets to attend the the 20th abominaversary edition of "The Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy" at the Red Sandcastle Theatre is closed. Thank you to everyone who played!

If you didn't win, you can purchase tickets at EldritchTheatre.ca/Tickets


My favourite answers to the question "what do you think is the scariest magical effect (either to perform or to watch)?"
  1. The only thing scarier than someone pulling a coin out of your nose is someone pulling a coin out of your little brother's nose.
  2. I'm always intimidated by coin magic, especially when watching. I'm paranoid the slippery coins will go flying and ruin everything.
  3. Any fire related effects, as those can be dangerous if done incorrectly.
  4. I go to magic shows to escape from the unpleasantness of real life. Tricks like smash and stab, that involve a real risk that someone is harmed during the show, terrifies me (and not in a good way)!  If I had to pick a FUN scary magic trick... hard to beat "the web"!




a Rafflecopter giveaway




Congratulations Amanda!  You'll be contacted by someone from the Eldritch Theatre shortly.



With thanks to the Eldritch Theatre for generously making these tickets available to you!


30 October 2019

Vancouver and Victoria: Jason Verner in "Millennial" and "Senses"

From Eventbrite:
Sunday, November 10, 2019

A special "one-night only" performance of "Millennial." As part of the 3 of Clubs Convention, hosted by The Vancouver Magic Circle.

About this Event
Technology. Magic. Millennial. 21 year-old magician Jason Verners is proud to present his newest touring production: "Millennial." With performances across North America, multiple international awards, and regular network television appearances, Jason is thrilled to return to Vancouver, BC for a special "one-night only" performance of "Millennial." as part of the 3 of Clubs Convention, hosted by The Vancouver Magic Circle. Jason has created a show with a unique combination of close up magic, audience participation and countless surprises. This experience will shatter your expectations of what a magic show can be. Jason Verners has been called "The next David Blaine" by celebrities and press across the nation, and we invite you to come witness why. This production features brand-new illusions from Jason Verners. JasonVerners.com @JasonVerners -- “ONE of the Best Young Magicians in Canada” -Vic42 "Full of humour, wonder, and the best kind of magic: genuine magic." -happydesigns -- *Tickets will be available at the door depending on availability, but we strongly recommend buying them in advance as this performance is expected to sell-out in advance. *Although there are no official age restrictions, the show is NOT geared towards young children and is typically recommended for ages 13 and up.

Read more and buy tickets.


From Eventbrite:
Friday November 22

"Senses" has been built within the award-winning House of Boateng Cafe in Langford, BC. The evening is split into six parts, each dinner course from Chef Castro Boateng is paired with a moment of mystery by magician Jason Verners that will unlock and reveal one of your five senses. The question is: What is the 6th?

Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Touch. ........

Join us for the most immersive dinner-theatre the nation has to offer. The experience is strictly limited to forty people.

whatisthesix.com

Read more and buy tickets.







29 October 2019

Dean Gunnarson recreated Houdini's 1915 suspended straitjacket escape

From the August 18th post "Dean Gunnarson recreates Houdini's L.A. escape in 1987" by John Cox at Wild About Harry:
On October 29, 1987, escape artist Dean Gunnarson recreated Houdini's 1915 suspended straitjacket escape in Los Angeles to promote the live Halloween television special, The Search for Houdini. Dean was introduced as James Randi's protege, and Randi was on hand to assist in the stunt.

Read more.

28 October 2019

Ontario Week of Wonder recap

With thanks to Joan Caesar for sending us updates and photos from the first Ontario Week of Wonder!

Congratulations to everyone involved.  It looked like a fabulous event.

Special congratulations to Joan, who received a special Lifetime Achievement Award at the Saturday night gala show.



















(Click on each photo to see at full size)































27 October 2019

Regina: Oliver, the ventriloquist dummy made in the 1910s

From the October 17th article "Black Museum exhibit in Regina shows off creepy side of Canada's true crime history" by Samanda Brace in CBC News:
One of those creepy items is Oliver, the ventriloquist dummy made in the 1910s by an RCMP member who was a magician and ventriloquist that put on shows for children.

Unfortunately, Oliver hasn't aged well, according to Eskritt. He has been designated the host of the exhibit.

"Now I can't verify that it's true or not, but some of our visitors in the past have said that it feels like his eyes follow you as you move around the exhibit, so that adds to the whole sort of atmosphere," Eskritt said.

Read more.

26 October 2019

A(nother) peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer

Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON      
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON        
Read more and buy tickets.


A peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer 

You may remember the wonderful interview, "A peek behind the curtain with Alex McAleer," from December of last year.  I was delighted to receive an invitation to take a second pass at an email interview with McAleer as part of a Champions of Magic promotion.

If you haven't already, check out his YouTube channel where he hosts his series Mind Games in addition to his Champions of Magic tour vlog.






What do you do to keep your performance fresh for both your audience and you?

Although my act has a solid structure, each show is different as the audience play a big part in deciding what happens, whether they know it or not. So it becomes a bit like improv for me. That helps to keep it fresh, but I always try to keep my energy and enthusiasm up for each and every audience because it might be 1000th time I’ve done the show but for them it’s their first time seeing it.

You've toured a number of countries.  Have you experienced anything specific about Canadian audiences in particular?  
Canadian audience have the North American enthusiasm like crowds in the U.S. but feel a bit more like the audiences back home in the UK in terms of their sense of humour.

Do you have any advice for touring magicians?
Advice for touring magicians...
  • Travel light.
     
  • Don’t use a roller bag. They can never fit them all in the overhead bins on a flight. 
     
  • Save locations like coffee shops, stores, restaurants, whatever, on Google maps so when you go back again for more shows or whatever, you’ve got a list of your favourite locations.
     
  • Take time to see things the town or city is known for. Ask a local, especially Uber drivers.
     
  • If you find good WiFi somewhere, use it wisely - download films, books, podcasts, whatever you need. You’ll regret it later if you don’t.
     
  • Steal all the fee toiletries from hotels. They might come in handy on the road, or make disappointing gifts for people you don’t like very much.
     
  • Have something to do in the downtime. Usually I’m editing a tour vlog, or writing up some new ideas. Kayla and Young both have podcasts.  [Editor's note:  podcasts are Shezam Pod and The Magicians' Podcast respectively.]


What interests do you have outside of magic?
Film. Art. Cooking. Gym. Laughing. Anthropomorphising inanimate objects. Not always in the order.
Do you have any tour or pre-show rituals?

Not really as I’m not at all superstitious. However, I always brush my teeth before a show but that’s more of a courtesy to participants that join me on stage and makes me smile more on stage.

If you were to ask the others what McAleer likes to do pre-show they’d say get ready ridiculously early; costume and mic on, ready to go, long before I need to.


If you could be endowed with the talent to take on any Broadway role past or present, who would you pick?
Something from ‘Into The Woods’ ... maybe doubling up as the Wolf and one of the Princes as they get the songs that would be most fun to perform.

Those are fun parts! You can't go wrong with Sondheim.






Thank you Alex McAleer for making the time to answer our questions.


Catch the Champions of Magic on tour in Canada!



Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON      
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON        
Read more and buy tickets.




25 October 2019

Welcoming a new Friend: Richard Hough

Please join me in welcoming our newest Friend, Richard Hough!

Based out of Vancouver, Richard appreciates that magic performances bring wonder and mystery into our lives.

You can follow him on Twitter @DourHighArch.

Thank you Richard, for becoming an official Friend of Canada's Magic!


24 October 2019

Comedy Nest celebration and David Acer in the Montreal Gazette

From the Comedy Nest:
The Comedy Nest 40-ish Anniversary – October 24, 25, 26

Celebrate 40 years of funny at Montreal’s original comedy club with some of the city’s finest comedians from past and present, including JEFF ROTHPAN (The Tonight Show), MARTHA CHAVES (CBC’s Just For Laughs), RICK BRONSON (CBC’s Just For Laughs), BOWSER & BLUE (The Comedy Network), HEIDI FOSS (Comics Unleashed), JOEY ELIAS (The Comedy Network’s MatchGame), DAVID ACER (CBC’s Just For Laughs), PHIL SHUCHAT (The Rick Mercer Report) and many more!

Read more and buy tickets.




From the October 23 article "Brownstein: Did you hear the one about the Comedy Nest turning 40?" by Bill Brownstein in the Montreal Gazette:
Acer and Shuchat shone among the first wave of anglo comics in the early years of the Nest.

“I go way back to the 1920s with Bob Hope,” Acer quips. “Actually, I did my first set at the Nest in 1989 … when we didn’t have microphones and comedians talked through rolled-up paper cones. Okay, I may be misremembering that a little.”

Read more.



23 October 2019

Toronto: Win tickets to see "The Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy"

Great news folks! I have been offered two (2) tickets to give away to my readers, to attend the 20th abominaversary edition of "The Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy" at the Red Sandcastle Theatre November 15, 2019 at 8:00 pm, Toronto, Canada.


The 
Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy

The Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy is a play by Eric Woolfe (House at Poe Corner, Doc Wuthergloom’s Haunted Medicine Show) who uses puppets and close-up magic based on the Faust Legend. An eerie tale of unholy larceny and Klondike gold. Based on the sworn testimony of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal. Strange things loom in the midday moon, where lost men moil for gold.


The show runs from November 13 - November 24th 3019.  If you don't want to leave your tickets to chance, you can purchase them directly at EldritchTheatre.ca/Tickets


I will be holding a random draw for the pair of tickets.  (There will be one winner.)  The draw results will be posted by Thursday October 31st.


To enter:
  1. Log into the RaffleCopter widget below, using Facebook or a valid email address.
     
  2. Mandatory: Leave a comment in the widget, telling me what you think is the scariest magical effect (either to perform or to watch).
     
  3. If you win, you must be willing to provide your full name and contact information so that we can coordinate your prize with the Eldritch Theatre box office.



The fine print:
  • To participate in the contest, you must be 18 years of age or older.
     
  • One entry per person.
     
  • This giveaway is open to Canadian residents, excluding residents of Quebec. (Je m'excuse!)
     
  • This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
     
  • If you experience difficulties leaving a comment, you may email it to me for posting.  (I am not responsible if your email is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder.)
     
  • This giveaway may be terminated or withdrawn at any time.
     
  • Entries my be disqualified at any time (reasons for disqualification include but are not limited to the provision of information that is untruthful, inaccurate, incomplete, or suspected fraudulent behaviour).
     
  • You must be able to use the tickets as offered.  (No cash value will be offered if you cannot use the tickets.)
     
  • Transportation to/from Toronto and accommodations will not be provided.
     
  • Photo ID will be required to claim the tickets at the the Eldritch Theatre box office prior to the show on your way into the theatre.
     
  • The odds of winning depend on how many people enter the contest.
     
  • Contest closes on Tuesday October the 29th, 2019 at 11:59pm ET.

With thanks to the Eldritch Theatre for generously making these tickets available to you!


The 
Harrowing of Brimstone McReedy - photo credit Lyon Smith
Photo By: Lyon Smith



a Rafflecopter giveaway




22 October 2019

Correia at The Castle

Next month, Mark Correia will be making his premiere performance in the Parlour of Prestidigitation at The Magic Castle.  Details at the end of the post.

You can also find Mark in and around New York City for the rest of this month.


From Mark Correia's Instagram:











Also from Mark Correia's Instagram:



View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mark Correia (@markcorreia) on


21 October 2019

Winner of tickets to see "The Art of Magic with Asi Wind"

The contest to "Win tickets to see 'The Art of Magic with Asi Wind'" closed last Friday at midnight.



The winning entry is an email submission from Ryan Goldin:
“As a father of an 11 year old magician discovering the Toronto Magic Company and its amazing network of magicians it has sparked a new zest for life for my son. He’s inspired after every event we attend having learned new tricks, having an opportunity to share what he’s been working on and counting the days till their next event or performance. He’s been welcomed with open arms and is treated as a peer.”


Congratulations Ryan!   You'll be hearing from Ben with the details about how to claim your prize.


Thank you to everyone who entered.


With thanks to the Toronto Magic Company for generously making these tickets available to you!  

20 October 2019

Sleightly Sketchy: Magician trading cards [MTC191020]

Imagine if magicians had trading cards.

Did you need all three hints to guess whose trading card back this is?

Sleightly Sketchy: Magician trading cards [MTC191020]




Previously posted:

19 October 2019

A peek behind the curtain with Kayla Drescher

Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON       <<<  ** recent addition **
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON         <<<  ** recent addition **
Read more and buy tickets.


A peek behind the curtain with Kayla Drescher 

I was delighted to receive an invitation to email interview Kayla Drescher, as part of a Champions of Magic promotion.  You may know already know Drescher as the winner of the Today Show's “The Next Great Magician” (judged by David Copperfield), from appearing on season four of Penn and Teller Fool Us, or from lecturing in Toronto last January

(Read on to learn more about Drescher's connection to the Canadian magician known as "The Beauty of Magic.")






Who inspires you magically?

My mentors are a couple from Indianapolis - Christian and Katalina.  They are my biggest inspiration magically.  I enjoy watching magicians that are grounded and “real”, like you want to buy them a beer after the show.  That’s what I aim for as a performer and am inspired by those that do the same.




What is your first memory of magic?
 

My first memories were from seeing magic at a magic shop at 7 years old.  That’s where I caught the “bug.”
Why do you think people are still fascinated by magic, especially live magic? 
Because it’s happening directly in front of you.  When magic is happening with no screen or special CGI, it adds to the impossibility.  Add in magic happening in your hands… well there’s nothing better.


Where do you find non-magical inspiration?
 

I love watching dance and choreographers tell a story through movement, listening to music that motivates something magically, or watching a movie suspend the audience’s disbelief and transport you to another world.  Comedy is also a huge influence, especially improv and character-based sketch comedy.  I’m also super inspired by Celine Dion and basically everything she does, especially her fashion.  My choice for clothing on stage is highly motivated by hers. 
What’s is it about Champions of Magic that has allowed you to draw large audiences on 6 UK tours and 3 North American tours over the past six years?
Champions of Magic features every type of magic you could possibly imagine while keeping it fun for the whole family.  But really what we feature over any other show, TV program, movie, etc, is us.  The 5 performers have strong, enjoyable, and engaging personalities.  You get to know us individually and as a performing “family.”  We truly enjoy touring together and you can see that on stage.  We probably feature more high-fives than any other show has.  Audience members come back show after show because they enjoy “hanging out” with us.  And because the audiences are different, the show is just a little different each time, making each show super memorable.    We work hard to make the show not just magically impressive, but an absolutely fun time.



What surprised you most about performing in different countries?  Have you experienced anything specific about Canadian audiences in particular?
The biggest difference is the style of humor.  Because I’m primarily comedy/improv based, I have to study what each audience would find funny.  What I love most about Canadian audiences is the immediate excitement when the show starts.  The roar of the audience when the lights go down is everything a performer wants to hear.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE performing for Canadian audiences and cannot wait to do it again!

Do you have a favourite touring anecdote and / or any advice for touring magicians?
There are so many stories from tour and we certainly don’t have time for them all.  My favorites come from pranking Sam Strange, like when he leaves his belongings on stage during rehearsals and I hide them in one of the cup holders in a 4,000 seat theater.  That’s always fun.

My biggest advice is to just be open to any adventure the tour can bring.  I’ve tried different foods, seen amazing parts of various countries, and rode my first Bird scooter (which I fell off) with the tour.  It’s like an adventure of no other so make the most of it!


 

With respect to your connection to Canadian magic, most of our readers will be familiar with the podcast you do with Carisa Hendrix (Shezam! the podcast hopes to make itself obsolete), and many will know about your connection with the Toronto magic crew.  Do you have any other connections to Canadian magic?
I was influenced by Greg Frewin at a young age.  And there's also Celeste Evans.
I first met Celeste Evans and her daughter Evanna at a magic convention when I was roughly 15/16 years old.  Celeste was a hero of mine, being such a trailblazer in the community and having created a full stage act in a tight dress and no suit jacket (which I was wearing at the time).  Celeste often offered unprompted advice to young magicians, especially women in the community.  She was an amazing human being and a fantastic magicians.

When she passed away, Evanna kindly sent me some of her magic-themed jewelry. After I finished crying of pure joy and honor, the jewelry quickly made its way into my usual performance attire.  Her necklace charm, in the shape of a hand with 4 multiplying balls, is what I mainly wear every show, although the ring in the same shape is often on my hand.  I’m honored to carry on a piece of Celeste through everything I do.  


Do you have any tour or pre-show rituals?

I lay on the floor a lot. It’s very comfortable.  Then I do a ton of dancing to loosen up and get happy, give Fernando a high-five, and get on with the show!
You sometimes perform extremely dense runs.  What do you do to keep your performance fresh for both your audience and you?
I try to change little things about my show each time I start to feel myself get complacent.  It could be adding in a new joke, doing a different dance, wearing a new jacket or shoes, just anything to change things up a bit.  We also all try to keep things fresh, from playing tag on stage to making each other laugh in the wings.  I’m thankful to be with a group of people that all know how to have fun and keep things fresh.

What interests do you have outside of magic?
I’m a big basketball fan and keep up with the WNBA and women’s college basketball regularly.  I try to read a lot but always just end up watching Harry Potter.  And I have a really great dog that I enjoy snuggling with.


If you could be endowed with the talent to take on any Broadway role past or present, who would you pick?
Elphaba from Wicked.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
California weather. I’d share California weather with all of Canada.

Ohhh... best gift ever! Don't forget to bottle some for yourself though.  You'll need it when you hit SK in January!


Thank you Kayla Drescher for making the time to answer our questions!



Catch the Champions of Magic on tour in Canada!


Upcoming Champions of Magic Canadian tour dates:
  • 12/8/19     Brandon, MB
  • 12/12/19   Ottawa, ON       <<<  ** recent addition **
  • 12/14/19   Oshawa, ON
  • 12/15/19   Laval, QC
  • 1/16/20     Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre
  • 1/17/20     Regina, SK    Conexus Arts Centre
  • 1/26/20     Prince George, BC
  • 2/29/20    Rama, ON         <<<  ** recent addition **
Read more and buy tickets.