Showing posts with label # general. Show all posts
Showing posts with label # general. Show all posts

11 September 2018

Michael Close's September 2018 newsletter

Just finished reading the May newsletter from Michael Close.  You may be interested in:

  • Michael's thoughts on ethics and the performing of someone else's work.
  • "Plausible Props" by Mick Ayres.
  • "Can I be Frank?" by Tom Frank.
  • The U.S. Postal Service's new magic kit  (The Art of Magic Kit) and stamp set (The Art of Magic  Forever®  Stamps). 
  • Entering the September Caption Contest!
  • "One Last Yelp" by Norman Beck.
  • A list of recommended podcasts.  (Can you guess which Canadian podcast is listed?)
  • Product review of Juan Tamariz's "Magic from My Heart."
  • "Must-have show apps for your iPad" by Bruce Kalver.
  • And more!
Sign-up at to receive Michael's newsletters.

02 September 2018

W. C. Shelly

John Smithman posted a while back, that "W.C. Shelly was the second president (1944-1945) of the Vancouver Magic Circle. He was a prominent business man and politician in Vancouver who had a park named in his honour."

Not to shabby to have a park named after a magician!

Here's a photo of John at the park:

I think he started a trend, because Shawn Farquhar recently posted a similar photo!

From Shawn Farquhar's Twitter feed:

30 August 2018

Throwback Thursday from 1934

Makes me kind of glad I wasn't part of this organization!

From Shawn Farquhar's Twitter feed:

28 July 2018

Mississauga and Toronto: DCME’s School of Magic

Their website currently has a special offer:  those that sign up for all three sessions (Fall, Winter, and Spring) will receive a 15% discount.

From DaCosta Magic:
DaCosta Magic Ent. is proud to offer classes teaching students the art of magic. Our classes are designed to offer aspiring magicians an insight into magic technique, form, and performance quality. In addition to this we hope to provide students with an environment that promotes respect (for each other and the secrets of magic), inclusivity, positivity and personal confidence. It is important to us as a school of the magical arts to not only contribute magic knowledge to our students, but to also provide a safe and positive environment for these aspiring magicians to grow as individuals.

Read more and register.

From Kristine:
DCME’s School of Magic will have two homes, one in Toronto and one in Mississauga, classes starting for ages 6 all the way up to adults. Our goal is to create a place where kid/teen/adult magicians can go to learn technique, performance skill, and have an opportunity to test their skills in performances we offer throughout the year.

11 June 2018

Marien Hopman's magic stolen

From the June 9th article, "Chatham magician hopes tricks will reappear after being stolen" by Stacey Janzer in the Windsor CBC :
Poof. The magic's gone.

Chatham, Ont.'s Marien Hopman likes to perform a trick or two when he can, but his box of magic tricks were stolen.

At 71, he's been interested in magic since he was 10. The retired professional salesman says he would perform magic at children's parties.

Last week, he spotted a sponge ball on the floor of his car and wondered what it was doing there. He opened up his glove compartment — it was empty and his heart sank. That's where he kept his treasure trove of tricks.

"I just keep it in there to so I can make people happy," Hopman said.

Read more.

10 June 2018

Bob Cates wins award for Best Variety Act

Congratulations Bob!

From the Twitter feed of  Bob Cates:
A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

02 June 2018

Keith Brown: House builder

What an incredible experience! Good for you Keith!

From Keith Brown's Facebook page:

A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

28 May 2018

Why the big sale at Perfect Magic?

From the May 26th post "Why The Big Sale At Perfect Magic?" at the Perfect Magic blog:
There is a huge sale at Perfect Magic. Why? Because Murphy’s Magic, a wonderful supplier of ours, has a huge sale and we are passing the saving on to you. Some of the items on our sale have a discount of over 80%. Perhaps its spring cleaning time. There are many wonderful items on this special which ends June 1. There are over 1700 items but I only put a sampling up and I’ll continue putting things up until June 1.

Read more.

22 May 2018

Perfect Magic wants to know your favourite magic trick

From Perfect Magic:

People often ask me when they come into the shop “What’s your favourite magic trick?” You may think my answer is ridiculous after all the tricks I have in the shop, but it’s the ...

Read more and let them know your favourite in their comments!

20 May 2018

Mark Lewis Trivia

Mark had this to say on Facebook:
I once ran away with the circus! This is from 42 years ago! I am still doing the same two tricks! Both card tricks! I suppose I should learn something new. Still, I bet this is the only card act in history to be seen in a circus ring!

From the Puck's Canadian Travelling Circus Facebook page:

A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

14 May 2018

Pictures from the 2018 Festival de Magie de Québec and CAM

From Loran Magie's Facebook page:

A note to subscribers: the content of this post is embedded from another website and is not available to preview. To view the content of the post, please visit Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

11 May 2018

Michael Close's May newsletter

Just finished reading the May newsletter from Michael Close.  You may be interested in:
  • Micheal's thoughts on Browser's Bash 2018.
  • A tribute to Harry Anderson. 
  • Review of the Paradigm Shift ebooks.
  • An announcement about an upcoming online lecture by Michael.
  • Information about the Magical Arts Intellectual Property Coalition.
  • Pit Hartling interview. 
  • Meeting Marlo.
  • Tips on performing restaurant magic.
  • And more!
Sign-up at to receive Michael's newsletters.

04 May 2018

Billy Kidd's "Find it, sign it, leave it."

After following a number of your feeds it becomes quickly apparent that for some of you, airports are a second home.  I get the sense that there's a lot of time spent waiting.  With nothing to do.

Billy Kidd has not only been there and done that, she has created a little game to help keep you occupied!

It works like this.  She's hidden a 3 of clubs with her name on it at airports in Auckland New Zealand, LA, Sydney, Melbourne, Istanbul, London, Japan, Singapore, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Barcelona, Paris, and Dublin.

You find it, sign it, and leave it back in the same spot for others to find.

Optional: You take a selfie with the card and tag Billy on Instagram or Twitter so she knows you're playing along.  Use the hashtag #findmycard for bonus points.

Bonne chance!

From Billy Kidd's Twitter feed:

Here are some clues from Billy's Instagram:





London, Heathrow:



25 April 2018

Jason Latimer and the "Impossible Science Student Challenge"

From the "Jason Latimer & presents: Impossible Science Student Challenge!" Project Board:

ProjectBoard Description
What cool projects are you working on in science (and STEM) classes today? We want to know about them! Your experiments, drawings, videos, and papers... All of them qualify!

Winning team with the most awesome, crazy, creative experiment, or STEM project will receive a LIVE IMPOSSIBLE SCIENCE STAGE SHOW at their school, by World Champion Magician and curator of Impossible Science, Jason Latimer!

See DETAILS & WHITEBOARD to learn more about how to enter, challenge guidelines, and more!

ProjectBoard Details
Who can compete?
Current Middle School & High school Students in USA & Canada

Read more and sign up.

24 April 2018

Kickstart Mahdi Gilbert's new deck, "Hidden Leaves"

From the "Hidden Leaves" Kickstarter page:
The cards are made from the same Premium Bee Stock used in world class casinos for durability & flexibility. This premium stock has been Crushed Thin so that they can be used for superior and fine card manipulation by card experts worldwide. Finally they have been enveloped in a Smooth Finish so that they are long lasting and glide effortlessly in any environment.


Every single card in every pack of Hidden Leaves playing cards has been drawn by Mahdi to evoke a nostalgic feel. Crafted with love, this deck is inspired by & a homage to the legendary card artist who in 1885 designed cards for Andrew Dougherty including Tally-Ho.


Many of Hofzinser's finest deceptions were only possible because of the playing cards of the era. Hidden Leaves playing cards feature no indexes just like playing cards used to be made. This unique feature allows you to explore all sorts of forgotten card transformations, hypnotize your audiences with hallucinations of duplicates, renders well-known prearranged stacks completely invisible (even to magicians).

These are only a sliver of the secrets you will find in Hidden Leaves.


I have also found through performing with Hidden Leaves that the audience is able to concentrate more on the plot of the card effect you are performing. I believe the reason for this is that there is less information for the spectators to process (they are not seeing a bunch of numbers & letters all the time) which allows them to focus on their cards and the magic that you are presenting.

Read more and back this project.

03 April 2018

Three more days to get your nominations in!

Delighted to see so many of you celebrating talented people past and present in your nominations for the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time!

We have FIFTY fabulous nominees.

If you don't see your favourite on the list, submit your nominations in the comment form on the post "Who are the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time?"* by 11:59PM EDT on Friday April 6th.  You may nominate as many Canadian magicians as you like.  (Number of nominations don't influence the vote.  If you see your choice(s) listed, please refrain from submitting duplicates.)

Thanks for playing!

* or email me.  I'll send a confirmation back to let you know I received your email. 

22 March 2018

Who are the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time?

Updated April 3rd at 6pm to add the following nominations:
  • Celeste Evans and Reveen The Impossiblist (Reveen Sr.)
Updated March 31st at 9pm to add the following nominations:
  • Greg Frewin and Mahdi Gilbert
Updated March 29 at 7am to add the following nominations:
  • Billy Kidd, Carisa Hendrix, Joan Caesar, and Julie Eng
Updated March 24 at 10am to add the following nominations:
  • Alain Choquette, David Drake, Mickey Hades, and Shin Lim
Updated March 23 at 9am add the following nominations:
  • Bob Farmer, Carl Coultier, Francis Martineau, Gary Ouelette, Howard P. Lions, Mel Stover, Romaine, Roy Cotte, Tom Ransom, Tony Eng, Willis Kinney
Updated March 23 at 7am add the following overnight nominations:
  • Additional submissions:  Bedros "Spidey" Akkelian, Bill Abbott, Bobby Motta, Dale Harney, Eric Leclerc, Johnny  Giordmaine, Juliana Chen, Leon Mandrake, Sid Lorraine, Stewart James, Ron Leonard, and Vincent C
Updated at 12:15pm to add:
  • Additional submissions: Darcy Oake, Luc Langevin, Murray Hatfield, Ross Bertram, Tom Auburn
Updated at 10:15am to add:
  • The following names have been submitted for consideration:  Chris Ramsay, Dai Vernon, David Acer, David Ben, Doug Henning, Gary Kurtz, James Randi, Jay Sankey, Martin Nash, Richard Sanders, Shawn Farquhar

Complete list of nominations received (alphabetical by first name):

  1. Alain Choquette
  2. Bedros "Spidey" Akkelian
  3. Bill Abbott
  4. Billy Kidd
  5. Bob Farmer
  6. Bobby Motta
  7. Carisa Hendrix
  8. Carl Coultier
  9. Celeste Evans
  10. Chris Ramsay
  11. Dai Vernon
  12. Dale Harney
  13. Darcy Oake
  14. David Acer 
  15. David Ben
  16. David Drake
  17. Doug Henning
  18. Francis Martineau
  19. Eric Leclerc
  20. Gary Kurtz
  21. Gary Ouelette
  22. Greg Frewin
  23. Howard P. Lions
  24. James Randi
  25. Jay Sankey
  26. Joan Caesar
  27. Joel Machtinger
  28. Johnny Giordmaine
  29. Juliana Chen
  30. Julie Eng
  31. Leon Mandrake
  32. Luc Langevin
  33. Mahdi Gilbert
  34. Martin Nash
  35. Mel Stover
  36. Mickey Hades
  37. Murray Hatfield
  38. Reveen The Impossiblist (Reveen Sr.)
  39. Richard Sanders
  40. Romaine
  41. Ron Leonard
  42. Ross Bertram
  43. Roy Cotte
  44. Shawn Farquhar 
  45. Shin Lim
  46. Sid Lorraine
  47. Stewart James
  48. Tom Auburn
  49. Tom Ransom
  50. Tony Eng
  51. Vincent C
  52. Willis Kinney

Devon Murphy recently posted the article, "Top Canadian Magicians and the Tricks That Made Them Famous," at the CBC website.  Devon lists seven outstanding magicians (Julie Eng, Dai Vernon,  Doug Henning, Billy Kidd, Mahdi Gilbert, Greg Frewin, and David Ben).  (Of note, two of the seven on that list are recipients of the "Editor's Choice Award" in the Canada's Magic "Readers' Choice Award" festivities.)

Devon's list got me wondering.

Who do you, dear readers, consider to be the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time?

For those of you who don't like to be influenced by the decisions of others, we're going to start with a clean slate and let you choose all ten!

Submit your nominations in the comment form below,* by 11:59PM EDT on Friday April 6th.  You may nominate as many Canadian magicians as you like.  (Number of nominations don't influence the vote.  If you see your choice(s) listed, please refrain from submitting duplicates.)  Voting will open shortly thereafter.  

What say you?  Who are your top (living or dead) Canadian magicians of all time?

* or email me.  I'll send a confirmation back to let you know I received your email.

19 March 2018

Toronto: Potted Potter returns

In what was I think their first visit to Toronto, Ben Kaplan of the National Post had a nice write up "On the Town: Hogwarts in Hogtown with the Potted Potter crew" of the Potted Potter's cast visit to The Browser's Den of Magic, which was published on March 3rd, 2012.

June 13 to July 8, 2018

Returning to Toronto for the fourth time, Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes.

A Critics’ Pick by the DA Critics’ Pick by the Daily Herald, New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out London, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, the show won the prestigious 2012 Olivier Award nomination for Best Entertainment & Family Show, playing to sold-out houses worldwide.

This fantastically funny show features all your favourite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props, and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic!

Read more and buy tickets.

12 March 2018

Alex Kazam's AGT journey

When last we left Alex, he was telling us about his decision to audition for AGT.

Alex gives us an insider's perspective into the thought and effort involved in getting a shot at a chance to become "an overnight success."

Catch up on his journey thus far at his blog at The Alex Kazam.

From his December 20th post "America’s Got Talent – Part One: Getting Told “GO”":
In due time, for now, let me begin at the beginning. It was December 7th, 2017. I was performing at my usual Thursday night spot, St.Louis Bar and Grill in St. Catharines, Ontario. It was one of the first really cold nights, the evening was just starting up. The restaurant was still fairly quiet, and slowly starting to fill with patrons anticipating dinner service. I moved to my usual spot in the back corner of the space, hung up my coat, and prepared what I needed to perform. I noticed my client Jim Reaman (the owner) standing near the bar chatting with some staff.

Since I had a few minutes to spare, and genuinely enjoy catching up with Jim, checking-in and so forth, I headed towards him. We quickly moved from talking about personal affairs, to talking about what I’d been working on, my aspirations, and so on. I mentioned an idea that had been floating around my head, like an annoying little balloon. Sometimes it was filled with helium, sometimes with Sulfur Hexaflouride. The idea was light, in that it was clever, fun, inspiring, educational and full of potential for awesome. It was heavy in that it was terrifying, risky, draining, and full of potential for embarrassment, failure and rejection.

Read more.

From his January 16th post "America’s Got Talent – Part Two: All Out of Ideas":
So December 11th, we began the video with my getting out of the trunk of my car, shoving balls of dough in my eyes, and putting coins over top of the dough. Duct tape fastened the lot to my face, and then I covered the lot with a sleep mask, just in case someone thought I could see through dough, coins and duct tape. Off we went. The entire journey took less than 10 minutes. Remember, the final clip was supposed to be no longer than 3.  Thus, on December 12th 2018, I trimmed it down to size, added a quick opening clip of me breathing fire, and a title screen with my contact information at the end of it.

Read more.

From his January 24th post "America’s Got Talent – Part Three: Effects That Affect":
How was I making a living at this whole performing arts thing, when I couldn’t find any effects within my repertoire that was good enough to get the attention of someone representing a television network?

Read more.

 From his March 1st post "America’s Got Talent – Part Four: The Sort of Conclusion":
 I’m hoping, through the volume of these posts, specifically through some of these rather wordy digressions, to shine a light on the secret and dirty side of the show business world. So that should you one day be in the position of meeting a celebrity, on the set of a movie, walking by a creative project of some kind, or even just running into your friendly neighborhood mystery entertainer: you will have the experience now to engage respectfully, and with the appropriate etiquette.

Read more.

03 March 2018

Interested in a pre-FISM tour of South Korea?

From Joan Caesar:
Pre-FISM tour of South Korea.
Cost each with 8 people is $1375.00 USD for 7 days.
If interested please contact Joan Caesar
jcaesar [at] sentex [dot] ca   by March 31st.

Day 1: Visit of Haeinsa temple
Saturday, 30 June 2018
  • The Gayasan park is well-known for its historical sites and landscapes, and especially for the Haiensa temple.
  • Visit the temple. After the visit, spend the night in the temple.

Day 2: End of the temple stay and road to Andong
Sunday, 1 July 2018
  • The temple stay experience ends around 12 noon
  • Then you will take the road to Andong and rest in the afternoon. 

Day 3: Visit of Andong
Monday, 2 July 2018
  • Andong is the ancestralspiritual and traditional capital of South Korea because of its Confucian traditions during the Joseon era. There, you will find many relics dating back to the Joseon dynasty, such as the magnificent Confucian school and a typical village of that time.
  • You will visit the Byeongsanseowon Confucian School
  • You will visit the Hahoe village, the Hahoedong Mask Museum and the Byeongsanseowon Confucian school.  

Day 4: Road to Gyeongju
Tuesday, 3 July 2018
  • Located in the Gyeongsangbuk Do region, Gyeongju was the capital city of the Silla Kingdom and one of the oldest historical cities in the world. It is a major spot for Korea’s culture and heritage today, as well as a UNESCO listed site.   
  • You will take the road in the morning to Gyeongju. 
  • Visit Tumuli Park which houses numerous royal tombs, visit the Cheonmachong tomb (the flying horse tomb), Cheongseongdae Observatory and the Anapji pond. 
  • Night in a hanok. (a traditional Korean house)

Day 5: Visit of cultural sites (UNESCO) in Gyeongju
Wednesday, 4 July 2018
  • Take a trip to some of Gyeongju's historical sites: the National Museum, Tumulus Park, and the Royal Tombs of Daereungwon. 
  • Enjoy a visit of the Bulguksa palace (built in 528) and the Buddhist cave in Seokguram, national treasures registered on the UNESCO world heritage. You can go there on foot or with bicycles. 
  • Night in a Hanok.   

Day 6: Day at the Namsan Mount and Gogulsa temple
Thursday, 5 July 2018
  • Considered as a Sacred site during the Silla Dynasty, the Namsan Mount is full of mysteries, temples and sanctuaries. It is a real open-air museum with 100 temples, 80 Buddha stoned-statues and 60 pagodas. You will enjoy quaint landscapes.
  • In the afternoon, visit of Gogulksa temple and a stop to the Yangdong village. 

Day 7: Busan
Friday, 6 July 2018
  • The second Korean city and the first harbour of the country. Busan is considered a dynamic city with big shops, luxurious restaurants, parks and beautiful beaches.
• Visit its beaches: Haeundae beach and Gwangalli beach.
• The city centre, the Yongdusan park and the Busan tower will give you a panoramic view of Busan. 
• The Yonggungsa temple (built on the side of a cliff: unique) 
• Busan and its impressive Jagalchi fish market which show the riches of its sea and harbour.