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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query 30 seconds with. Sort by date Show all posts

27 January 2015

Thirty seconds with Eric Leclerc

This is the second in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Eric Leclerc is a professional magician from Ottawa, Ontario.  He loves the beautiful scenery of Canada and especially the friendly people.  Eric first saw information about Sorcerers Safari at a convention and decided to investigate further.  He thinks magic camp is fabulous because it's about guiding and mentoring.  "Most importantly," Eric said, "it's about showing that magic isn't all about the tricks; it's about soft people skills like how to approach people."*  He comes back to camp every year to see the kids progress year over year.  He loves that there's a place where a "group of geeks / people just like us" can get together.  Eric's attended camp for six years as a counsellor.

FUN FACT:
While a fan of Superman, Eric prefers the Marvel world to DC comics.

DID YOU KNOW?
- You can see Eric on the National Geographic show Brain Games which has over 100 million viewers in 45 languages.  The opportunity came about because of Eric's YouTube video project 365 interactive card trick.

- Some of his project 365 episodes are also appearing on BBC One's "Now you see it!"

- Keep an eye out for Eric on YTV in September.   He's got his own 20 episode show of hidden camera magic!
Eric's first memory of magic was a hat tear performed at the annual Veterans' Christmas party he'd traditionally attend with his grandfather. He thinks that the instant access of so many magic effects today is a double-edged sword. On one had there's greater variety and ease of access. On the other hand, there isn't the "gate keeper" of a magic store owner to help filter things for kids based on appropriateness and/or skill level. When asked for advice he'd give aspiring magicians, Eric offers up some tips he was given when he was starting out: "Work on your people skills, not just the technical side of the effects. Take marketing and business classes. Learn about promotion and book keeping and everything else you can learn."

When not honing his magic skills, Eric enjoys video editing.

Visit Eric's website at EricLeclerc.com


From Fireside Productions Facebook page, Eric entertaining a volunteer:




From the Brain Games Facebook page, Eric and some chicks:




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* I've had the pleasure of seeing Eric perform his "Rocky Raccoon" routine a number of times.  Enough times that I have a good feel for his script, rhythm, and pacing.  One day I saw a young child, six or seven years of age, watch with rapt attention as Eric worked with Rocky.  Eric began to focus the presentation to the child, much to their delight!  This time, however, Eric left out the part of his routine that generally gets the biggest laughs.  I asked Eric about the script change, and he said it was his opinion that the child may not have reacted favourably to the missing bit.  I also chatted with the child's father, who agreed with Eric's assessment that including the left out bit would likely have led to tears.  Knowing "how to approach people" is a big deal indeed!


Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:


From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed:

07 April 2015

Thirty seconds with Simon Waring

This is the twelfth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

I remember sitting at the Pinetages Theatre waiting for the evening show to start.  Lee Asher's "B4" card class was tasked with approaching people in the audience (before the main show) and performing some close-up magic for them, while paying close attention to audience reaction.  While the majority of the class made a beeline to their friends, Simon made his way to me. I had the pleasure of watching him perform three wonderful card tricks.  Keep up the great work Simon!

Simon Waring is an aspiring magician from Gerogina, ON.  He thinks Canada is the best country in the world because it's such an accepting place, there is so much freedom and it's home to many great accomplishments.

FUN FACT:
Simon prefers chocolate chip cookies to Oreos.

DID YOU KNOW?
Simon's biggest influences are his parents, "the two best people in the world.
Simon's first memory of magic dates back to when he was six years old.  He remembers performing a children's vanish with Playmobil and a Toys'r'Us magic kit.  Simon first heard about Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp at Morrissey's Magic shop in 2009 when he was ten years old.  Simon's attend camp as a camper for six years.  He comes back to camp because the activities are so unique and interactive.  He hates the thought of missing out on something wonderful.  He's made great friends at camp and keeps in touch with them throughout the year.

Simon hopes that magic isn't losing its roots and that that people realize the value of reading books, going to lectures, and learning in person.  He suggests that young performers "practise, practise, practise."  He also encourages them to be creative and think about what enhances effects.  One last tip from Simon: "Take good care of your cards."

Simon's favourite non-magic activity is talking with friends about history.





Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:





From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed:

17 March 2015

Thirty seconds with Michael Close

This is the ninth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

I remember sitting at a picnic table outside the Mess Hall.  Michael was chatting with a group of campers and showing them some fabulous effects.  He then kindly agreed to let me interview him.  At the conclusion of the interview he said, "I've given you my time for your interview.  In return, you need to give me some of your time so I can show you something."  (A price I was only too happy to pay!)  Michael illustrated for me the interconnectedness of all things as not one, but two decks of cards mysteriously divined a card I'd previously selected.  Our time ended with a delightful discussion of probability and statistics. 

Professional magician Michael Close was born in Cleveland, raised in Indiana, lived and worked in Las Vegas for twelve years, and now lives in Toronto.  Michael first learned about Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp from his wife, Lisa.  He enjoys the location of the camp, the relaxing environment and especially that the instructors are always available to interact with the kids.  He likes how the camp setting breaks down barriers and gives kids access to the pros.  Teaching at Sorcerers Safari gives instructors a chance to offer to the young magicians, viewpoints grounded in classic principles.

FUN FACT:
Michael prefers "The Lord of the Rings" to "Harry Potter" and the original "Star Wars" movies (IV-VI) to "Star Trek."

DID YOU KNOW?
Michael is currently the editor of M-U-M, the magazine of The Society of American Magicians.
His first memory of magic is as a five year old.  He still remembers every trick Dick Stoner performed at his school in Fort Wayne Indiana.  Michael is concerned that the approaches and principles of magic are being forgotten because the kids today aren't being exposed to them.  He hopes the young magicians of today will learn to value secrets, respect history, and to value the experiences of those who came before them.  His advice for aspiring magicians:  "1) Don't forget that magic performance requires engaging people, it's not just performing for a camera. 2) Be well rounded and interesting to people outside of magic. 3) Learn to be engaging without doing a trick. 4) Read."

What is Michael's favourite non-magic activity?  Being an awesome dad, of course!

Visit Michael's website at MichaelClose.com .


From Sorcerers Safari's Facebook page:




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03 March 2015

Thirty seconds with Mark Correia

This is the seventh in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Professional magician Mark Correia from Toronto, Ontario is probably best known for spending two weeks inside a straitjacket last summer, to raise awareness for Parkinson's Disease.  In November 2014, Record Setter recognized Mark with a World Record for the "Longest Time Wearing a Straitjacket."  Mark raised over $15 000 through his efforts.

FUN FACT:
Mark performed for Usher at The Magic Castle.

DID YOU KNOW?
- Mark's pre-show routine involves rolling up his pant-legs an hour before show time, and then rolling them down right before the show starts?
- Mark is also working on a book and documentary about his experience with the Escaping Parkinson's straitjacket endurance stunt.  Keep an eye out for the book as early as this summer!.
Three year old Mark was bitten by the magic bug when "The Wacky Wizard" performed his (Mark's) birthday party.  Mark started performing professionally at the age of five.  He was at The Browser's Den of Magic when he first heard that Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp was "the" place to be if you were a young performer interested in magic.  One of his favourite things about camp is that you get to spend time with the people that literally wrote the books he reads.  In fact, when Mark thinks about magic camp, it's the amazing special guests that come first to mind.   Mark's spent seven seasons at Sorcerers Safari, two of which have been as a counsellor in training.  Needless to say, camp feels like family to him.

When Mark's not being magical, he's probably treading the boards in the Dramatic Arts Program at The National Theatre School of Canada or acting professionally in Toronto.

From the Fireside Productions Facebook page:





Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:



24 February 2015

Thirty seconds with Lorena and Trevor Watters

This is the sixth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.


Lorena and Trevor Watters are professional magicians from North Delta, BC.  They both love the beautiful scenery and friendliness of Canada.  They first heard about Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp when Magic Mike Segal and his wife Jen approached them at the World Magic Seminar.  This was  Lorena and Trevor's third year as camp instructors.

FUN FACT:
They're both big fans of the original Star Wars trilogy..

DID YOU KNOW?
- Lorena's most embarrassing magic moment was at the West Coast Fair when wind blew her skirt up!  (Apparently they had a much bigger audience the next day!
- Trevor's pre-show routine involves him doing push ups against a wall for 10 seconds to help him relax and psych himself up.
The Watters, like so many of the adults who pass through camp, wish that something like this was available to them when they were growing up.  When they think of camp they think of amazingly talented kids, fun times and unforgettable memories.  To them it's the perfect place to learn "magical performance arts."  They've loved camp since the first day and look forward to it yearly.  Lorena sums up one of their favourite things about magic camp, "It's awesome to watch how much kids grow (both physically and magically) in a year."

Trevor's first memory of magic goes back to the age of 12.  He remembers his dad coming home from Las Vegas with some magic tricks.  That's when Trevor fell in love with the craft.  As for Lorena, her first solid memory of magic was in the very early days of dating Trevor.  Trevor asked her if she'd like to come back to his place to see an illusion.  Lorena added, "He asked if I could fit into a box on the floor.  Then he said he was going to put 12 swords into it. The rest is history."

Lorena wishes that more people would think of magic as an art form.  Trevor agrees and would like people to respect magicians as much as they respect actors, or lawyers.  Both of them have the same advice for the young magicians out there:  Practise makes perfect.  Don't be afraid to fail; some of their best material comes from epic fails.

We wish them all the best as they represent Canada in the FISM World Championship held in Italy this July!

Visit their website at TrevorWatters.com .

From the Fireside Productions Facebook page:





Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:



From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed:

31 March 2015

Thirty seconds with Chris Mayhew

This is the eleventh in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Professional magician Chris Mayhew, originally from Calgary but now living in Toronto thinks that Canada is a friendly place to be.  He first came to Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp in 2013 with the task of creating the official camp video.  He did such a great job, that he was back in 2014 as official camp videographer.

FUN FACT:
Chris prefers Oreos to store-bought chocolate chip cookies, but would take homemade chocolate chip cookies over Oreos any day!

DID YOU KNOW?
Chris considers himself to be shy.
Chris' first memory of magic is as a young teenager of 13, seeing the sign at the Vanishing Rabbit Magic shop in Calgary.  It's not surprising that when he thinks about Sorcerers Safari, he thinks of magic!  Chris encourages performers to take the time to make routines their own, and wishes that there weren't so many people out there spreading bad magic.  His advice to aspiring magicians:  "Learn what you can and make it work for you.  Be sure to add yourself."

When not thinking about magic, Chris is likely thinking about videography.

Chris contributes to Five Academy Magic, has a solo lecture / show "MAYhew, MAYhem" and is also part of a comedy duo show "Sketchy Magic" with Chris Westfall.  You can catch Sketchy Magic every Tuesday in April.

From Chris Westfall's Facebook page:
The best way to love is to laugh together. It's not a magic show, it's a #sketchymagic experience. Save a date. April 7,14,21 or 28! An amazing deal from feb 1st-14th. Stay posted for info #saveadate
Posted by Chris Westfall on Thursday, 29 January 2015


Visit Chris' website at: ChrisMayhewMagic.com .


From the Fireside Productions Facebook page:
© Rebecca C. Wells 2014
Posted by Fireside Productions on Wednesday, 3 September 2014


Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:



From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed

03 February 2015

Thirty seconds with Lisa Close

This is the third in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Former professional magician Lisa Close is a Toronto, Ontario native who thinks about family when she thinks about Canada.  She has a fondness for both camping and magic, so when she heard about Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp (from chatting with Magic Mike Segal at The Browser's Den of Magic), she knew she had to try it out.  Lisa has been a part of Sorcerers Safari for three years.

FUN FACT:
Lisa prefers "Harry Potter" to "The Lord of the Rings" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to "Star Wars."

DID YOU KNOW?
- Lisa is the graphic designer for M-U-M, the magazine of The Society of American Magicians.
- Lisa also loves to crochet.  You can purchase some of her creations at her Etsy shop.
Lisa loves the whole experience of magic camp.  Especially the cooperation, camaraderie and fun had by everyone.  The "back to nature" setting is a big plus.  Lisa really enjoys watching campers see a magic trick they can't explain.  To her, magic camp means reuniting with old friends, eating together and watching kids take to the whole experience.

Her first memory of magic was when she was nine years old and her dad showed her a silk vanish.  She hopes that the young magic enthusiasts won't forget the importance of reading about magic and learning from books.  Her advice for aspiring magical youth:  "Come to Sorcerers Safari!"

Lisa loves watching movies, especially comedies, when taking a break from magic.


From The Browser's Den Twitter feed:


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Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:


From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed:

20 January 2015

Thirty seconds with Dan Wiebe

This is the first in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds.  Little did they know ...


Semi-professional magician, Dan Wiebe, from Winnipeg Manitoba, is one of the first faces I remember meeting at my first visit to Sorcerers Safari.   Dan is super friendly and has a great sense of humour.  His son Graham previously attended camp for over half a dozen years.  Dan's been an instructor with the camp for seven years.

FUN FACT:
Dan would rather watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, than Star Wars.


DID YOU KNOW?
Dan's most embarrassing magical moment was during a performance as "Alex R. O'Leif," when he blanked on the script after recognizing a student as an audience member.
Dan loves that Sorcerers Safari as a fun place to be.  He's a big part of making it that way.  His classes are practical, patiently taught, entertaining and creative.  For the very young kids with shorter attention spans, he'll sometimes get them to do a little craft that gets incorporated into the routine he teaches.  While helping set-up last year's camper show, he made sure that all of the kids would be showcased and their talents highlighted in a lighthearted and entertaining way.  (Who can forget the sight of one of the smallest performers choosing what had to be the tallest volunteer?)  Dan's first memory of magic dates back to about ten years of age, when he watched someone make an "invisible flea" fly onto a piece of paper.

Dan is a 13 year instructor with the Society of Young Magicians (youth chapter of the Society of American Magicians).  His advice for young magicians:  "Practise."

When not in a magical mood, you're likely to find Dan at a computer.

From Becky Wells' Facebook page:




For more information about the Society of Young Magicians in Winnipeg:




24 March 2015

Thirty seconds with Chris Pilsworth

This is the tenth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Professional magician, Chris Pilsworth is from Ottawa, Ontario.  Magic Mike Segal, Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp founder, put the magic camp bug in Chris' ear some time ago.  Finally Chris' curiosity got the better of him.  He loves the positive atmosphere of camp and that it's not too intensive (it includes playtime!).  He thinks it's especially great that the kids get to rub shoulders with high quality performers. He has attended Sorcerers Safari for four years.

FUN FACT:
Chris prefers chocolate chip cookies to Oreos.

DID YOU KNOW?
Chris is really happy that magic found him and / or he found magic!
Chris' first memory of magic involves his brother and magic books from the library.  Chris is fascinated to see the evolution of magic.  When asked his thoughts on the current state of magic he replied, "The world is changing and magic is changing.  Magic's been around for a long time and will continue to be."
When asked about advice for aspiring magicians, Chris replied, "Enjoy the process.  Be curious about becoming better.  Be original.  Try your best to express who you are through the medium of magic – don't be a direct copy."

When not immersed in magic, Chris enjoys reading, movies, volleyball and ultimate Frisbee.

Visit Chris' website at borntoamaze.com .

From the Fireside Productions Facebook page:




Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:




10 March 2015

Thirty seconds with Carey Lauder

This is the eighth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Carey Lauder, is a magician from Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He likes that Canadians, in general, are nice and willing to share.  Carey is an executive member of the Winnipeg Society of Young Magicians (SYM) which is the youth program (7-16yo) for the Society of American Magicians.  He's been involved with the SYM for 20 years.

FUN FACT:
Carey prefers Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter.

DID YOU KNOW?
Carey's favourite non-magic activity is photography.  You can see his photos over at MyToba.ca .
He first learned about Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp from reading an article about it in IBM's Linking Ring magazine. Carey is a talented photographer, and a natural fit to be the official camp photographer when he's not teaching magic.  He's spent 16 years at camp as a magic camp instructor.  When asked his thoughts on Sorcerers Safari, Carey highlights the niceness of the participants, and thinks all of the sharing, jamming, and supporting is fabulous!  I asked what brings him back to camp year after year, and without hesitation he replied, "How can't you come back?"

Carey's first memory of magic is as a pre-teen (10-12 years of age) seeing Martin Nash at the Edmonton Klondike games.  He hopes that in spite of the volume of magic out there, people still remember that the magician needs to be part of the magic.  Carey recommends aspiring magicians read as much as they can and they find themselves a mentor.  He has one more piece of advice, "Don't be afraid to take risks and try new things."

Carey teaches photography at the high school level and is delighted that his photography is able to both benefit the camp and help to showcase kids to promote themselves.






Previously published "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews:




17 February 2015

Thirty seconds with Ben Train

This is the fifth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.

Professional magician Benzi Train is from Toronto, Ontario.  Proud of his homecountry, Ben thinks of "poutine, maple syrup, and free health care" when thinking about Canada.  (Good thing for that health care too; poutine and maple syrup aren't good for you in large doses.)

FUN FACT:
Ben's a fan of Harry Potter, chocolate chip cookies and Netflix.

DID YOU KNOW?
Ben's most embarrassing moment was getting pantsed at camp last summer. (I think there's video footage of that out there somewhere.  Finding it will be left as an exercise for the reader.)
Ben first came to Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp loving the idea that two of his passions, magic and camping, could be experienced simultaneously.  He comes back because, it's "the most amazing place in the world."  The words family, fun, and magic come immediately to mind when he thinks about magic camp.    Last summer marked Ben's twelfth year at Sorcerers Safari.  He has attended as a counsellor in training, a counsellor and most recently as an instructor.

Ben's first memory of magic was seeing Triumph performed when he was 14 years old.  He hopes that magicians today adapt to, integrate, and utilize all of the new technology and platforms to their advantage.

Ben heads up Five Academy Magic and performs as well as lectures all over the world.

Visit Ben's website at bentrain.ca .

Ben will be appearing this coming Sunday at Magic Tonight (50% discount with coupon code cmagic) .


From the Fireside Productions Facebook page:






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10 February 2015

Thirty seconds with Alex Seaman

This is the fourth in a series of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.


Alex Seaman is a university student and professional magician from Vancouver, BC. Alex's magic mentor, Shawn Farquhar, first tipped Alex to Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp many years ago.  Alex considers magic camp to be the "best week of the year" and can't wait to come back.  He says Sorcerers Safari is all about "sharing magic and experience."  Alex has been a camp counsellor for four years.

FUN FACT:
Alex takes Superman over Batman any day.

DID YOU KNOW?
This past summer, Alex was nominated to the Executive Board of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and hopes to help nourish the growing strength in the community of magicians.
Alex's first memory of magic is seeing a magician at a birthday party when he was five years old. Alex received a magic kit as a gift and the rest, as they say, is history.  Alex hopes that the younger generation in magic will develop a strong sense of ethics in magical performance and display a greater willingness to credit the sources / resources upon which they draw.  He advises aspiring magicians to learn about the importance of performance over method, to cite sources, and to connect with their audiences.

Alex has empowered new students through the art of magic in his after-school programs and lessons across the school district. Leading by example, at only 19 years old Alex became the President of the Vancouver Magic Circle (I.B.M. Ring #92), making him the youngest Ring President in the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

When not engrossed in magical activity or his university studies, Alex spends his free time as a Scout Leader.

Visit Alex's website at:  GottaBeMagic.com .

Here's a picture of Alex doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at camp from Carey Lauder's Facebook page:



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From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed:

14 April 2015

Thirty seconds with Steve Valentine

This is the last in my baker's dozen of "Thirty seconds with ..." interviews, so called because I approached the interviewees at Sorcerers Safari Magic and Performance Arts Camp last summer with the idea that I would interview them for 30 seconds. It didn't always work that way.


Professional actor and magician Steve Valentine was born in Scotland and currently resides in LA. Love and happiness are the things that come to his mind when he thinks of Canada; his wife, Inna, is originally from Toronto. Steve met Magic Mike Segal at a chance encounter at The Browser's Den of Magic. After hearing Mike talk about Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp, Steve said that he'd "like to help out if he could in anyway." And so, Steve attended magic camp last summer.

FUN FACT:
Steve would rather watch Dr. Who than either Star Wars or Star Trek.

DID YOU KNOW?
- Steve's life motto: "Always do everything you want and love to do, to live a fulfilling life. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."
- Steve was named the Magic Castle's Close-up Magician of the Year two years in a row.
- You may have seen Steve in on TV on shows such as Crossing Jordan, House, NCIS, and The Big Bang Theory.
Here's what Steve had to say about Sorcerers Safari: "It's fun! It's a bunch of magic nerds getting together." He also expressed a little bit of jealousy. Like many of the adults who have been to magic camp, Steve wishes something like this was available to him in his youth.

Steve's first memory of magic has him at six years of age in a playground in England and involves a vanishing knot. It was around that time that he also learned an important show business reality – if there's no publicity, no one will show up.

It's Steve's observation that the kids today are learning at an exponential rate given the easy availability of magic videos to consume. He hopes these kids will also make a point of exposing themselves to more of the history of the craft and rounding themselves out as individuals. Steve thinks that we're at a great place in magic, in that there's a new generation of audiences available who are not jaded by the "old shtick." He's especially happy that audiences are really accepting and enjoying close-up magic. Steve's advice for aspiring magicians: "Learn and read as much as you can – old books especially (fewer people know about this stuff)."

When Steve's not being magical, he loves being an awesome dad to his beautiful daughter, Evie. (Evie is a celebrity in her own right at magic camp. As near as anyone can tell, she never had to stand on her own because all of the campers were lined up to carry her!)

Visit Steve's website at: SteveValentine.com


From the Fireside Productions Facebook page:

Steve Valentine kills ...
Posted by Fireside Productions on Friday, 5 September 2014



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From the Sorcerers Safari Twitter feed:

09 June 2016

20 magical memories from Sorcerers Safari

Almost 20 years ago, armed only with the idea of making magic more accessible to kids who want to learn magic, "Magic Mike" Segal opened the doors to Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp.  Sorcerers Safari is Canada's only sleepaway magic camp, hosting up to 150 campers a year.

Words fail to adequately describe the phenomenon that is Sorcerers Safari.  Everyone comes away from camp with their own unique experience.  To mark their upcoming 20th anniversary, here’s a list of:

20 magical memories from Sorcerers Safari (in no particular order):
  1. My favourite camp memory would have to be when I first went to Sorcerers Safari. I saw all of my idols in magic and there were so many magicians that I had watched on TV and on YouTube. It was brilliant to see them perform and not only to see them perform but just to have a normal magic or even non magic conversation with them was amazing to me. It was literally like a dream come true!

    Brad B.
    Camper: 2014-2015


  2. The first year I ever attended I recall walking down a wooded path and seeing Michael Ammar talking to a group of campers who were seated under the shade of a huge tree.  Michael was talking about choosing magic as a career and I could see the look in all the campers eyes as I eavesdropped.  I knew in that very moment I would return to camp as often as I could as I felt something I’d never felt before.  Not sure how to describe it, but it was just so special.

    Shawn Farquhar (magichampion.com)
    Instructor: 2008-2013, 2015
  3. A favourite memory was making a card flourish duel that appeared in the 2013 camp video.


    Eric S.
    Camper: 2007-2014


  4. I was overwhelmed by the quality of instruction and the dedication of Mike, Jen and the entire board and staff. It was without doubt one the finest experiences I've had in my almost 40 years in the Magic business.

    Phil Matlin (PerfectMagic.com)
    Guest: 2014
  5. I would have to say that my favourite memory at camp would have to be after Brett C. and I performed the “cube in cube out” stage illusion. It was a huge relief that the whole thing went successfully and it was also the first routine that Brett and I created together.

    Holden L.
    Camper: 2008-2015

  1. Many of my favourite memories at Sorcerers Safari come from the late night jam sessions in the campers' cabins.  You never know what newest tricks or guest magicians you'll find.

    For example, a few years back, I witnessed Tyler Wilson sharing the longest and most entertaining card revelation I've seen. Over the course of about 45 minutes, the cabin filled with campers as they watched him attempt to find the card.  Pure suspense. Needless to say, he had no idea what the card was, and was playing us the entire time.

    The jam sessions offer a great opportunity to see the campers' talent and creativity.  In 2015, Philip B. and I posed an Ambitious Card challenge to the cabin.  They split into 2 teams to work together to create an Ambitious Card routine from scratch.  This impromptu competition went on for close to 2 hours and was a blast to watch!

    Sheldon Casavant (SheldonCasavant.com)
    Camper: 2003, Counsellor: 2004 and 2007, Instructor: 2015
  2. Trying to find only one Sorcerers Safari good memory is impossible because there are so many!  So let’s say that one of them is when Anders Bjorkman, Johnny Toronto, and I did a “fire trio act” together on the beach during the party night. I believe it happened in 2010. We literally had a blast!!!

    Loran, (LoranIllusion.com)
    Instructor: 2000 - 2015

  1. a) The first time (repeated over the years) that all the campers hit the stage on the final night to present their interpretation of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” ... (always a fun moment).
    b) Seeing the "shy and timid" take the stage for the first time in front of their peers and proudly present an effect they have learned at camp.
    c) The meal times with the table banging under the direction of Lee Asher.
    d) Seeing a camper on TELEVISION presenting magic... and only a few years earlier not being able to communicate...
    e) Year after year - the reunions. Campers emailing each other to make sure they would be in the same dorm.
    f) The chant of "we love Dick, we love Dick."

    Dick Joiner, (DickJoiner.com)
    Instructor: ~2001-2015


  2. Sorcerers Safari Magic Camp was the first time I ever went to camp. I'm in my seventies and it was fun and exciting. I loved the enthusiasm of the kids and their teachers, who were the best. We met old friends and made new ones. Keep up the good work and thank you Mike for inviting us.

    Evelyn Matlin (PerfectMagic.com)
    Guest: 2014
  3. I have so many wonderful memories of camp that it's near impossible to choose just one. But a camp classic that we continually reminisce about all the time happened on my first year when Rob 'Fish The Magish' Fishbaum secretly hid in the woods during the middle of the night, waited until I walked by, then jumped out making a loud squealing pig noise. I shrieked like a little girl, jumped into Steve Kline's arms completely terrified, and almost crapped my pants.

    It was an amazing moment. It's also when I knew these people would be part of my family for the rest of our lives. The best part, scaring the newbie staff has since become a long-standing camp tradition.

    Lee Asher (LeeAsher.com)
    Special Guest: 2001, Instructor: 2002-2015


  4. Lip Sync Battles


      

    Jeff P.

    Counsellor in Training: 2015
  5. When the whole camp did a one camera take lip dub! That was so exciting and EVERYONE had a part and nailed it! The video was a hit and definitely one to be remembered.

    Watch the 2011 Sorcerers Safari Lip Dub on YouTube:



    Lorena Watters (TrevorWatters.com)
    Instructor: 2010-2014

  1. a) I remember one night at the nightly stage shows in the Pinetages theatre:  the air was hot and thick… the performers were breaking a sweat after literally 30 seconds on stage.  And out of the blue we see Lee Asher come out and perform a trick (and a dance!) in a massive eggplant costume! It was epic.

    b) One year we decided to do a lip dub. It was amazing to see everyone come together and participate with such passion and precision. Check out the video it took us about a half-day to film. It was truly awesome.

    Eric Leclerc (EricLeclerc.com)
    Instructor: 2008-2015


  2. My favourite memory from camp was probably performing for Michael and Lisa Close's daughter on stage. I was able to use her last name to do a hilarious bit for the entire camp while poking fun of their last name.

    Chris Westfall (ChrisWestfallMagic.com)
    Instructor


  3. One of my favourite memories would be Eric Leclerc and a few of us attempting to scare RJ late at night with a bunch of scary halloween masks and then RJ wouldn't wake up. I have the video footage of it, but it is one of those bits that never made it into the annual Sorcerers Video, but was very funny to observe at the time.

    Chris Mayhew (ChrisMayhewMagic.com)
    Videographer: 2013-2015
  4. a) Performing on the camp stage. The first time I worked a stage, wore a mic, stood in front of the lights, and performed for a "big" crowd all came at camp. I'll never forget the love and support people showed me, and it's probably a major reason why I'm still getting up there today!

    b) Watching my campers grow up.  I still maintain relationships with campers I had a decade ago.  Some have become better performers than I would have ever imagined. Some are even better than I am... which is both awesome and infuriating!  One that stands out to me is Nathaniel Rankin.  I watched him grow from a cute, but shy, juggler to a world class magician performing on cruise ships around the world.  I don't take credit for his success -- that was all him -- but I'm glad to have been a stepping stone on his path to finding something that makes him so happy.

    Ben Train, (BenTrain.ca)
    Counsellor in Training: 2000-2001, Staff: 2002-2015

  1. This memory is from 2006.  For the end of the week camper show, Sami S. and I decided to dress up like veteran campers and counsellors, Kelvin and Dustin.  Every year, this eccentric duo would perform the “one-handed card trick” in which they are Siamese twins, joined at the hip where each only has the ability to use only one hand.  2006 marked one of the first years Kelvin was not at camp (but Dustin was) so we did not get to see their jubilant routine.  Instead, Sami and I dressed up like the duo and impersonated them and the one-handed card trick.  It was really goofy, not many people understood what we were doing.  But I distinctly remember Scott Hammell and Magic Mike in the audience laughing uncontrollably.

    This memory isn’t about the moment itself, but about the inside joke shared with the other veteran campers and staff that makes it stand out so strongly in my mind.  The inside jokes are what I remember now; nonsense jokes told around the campfire (knock-knock jokes will always be the funniest for me because of camp), and ridiculous one-liners.  There are moments with sugar shots, fruit stickers on our foreheads, crocket, fridge box racing, pushing Steve Kline in the lake and so many defining “coming of age” moments that bring me back to camp.  There are too many small memories to put one as the best, but the inside jokes between fellow campers and life-long friends are something I hold onto very dearly.

    Lauren Proctor
    Camper: 1999-2008
  2. My favorite memory is when Magic Mike told us that the visiting volleyball camp found an (invisible) deck, and not knowing what it was straightened all of the cards for us. I retell that story to magicians all the time.


    Jonah Babins (JonahBabinsMagic.com)
    Camper, Counsellor in Training, and Instructor


  1. Playing capture the flag with the kids during active time, then one of them realizing that I was the entertainer he watched on stage the night before! He was so excited, then I noticed a few more kids running around with me to beat the game!

    Trevor Watters (TrevorWatters.com)
    Instructor: 2010-2014



  2. I have so very many memories of camp, having been the guy who started it, and having attended every year, that it is hard to pick just one. There really are so many in the 20 years… but one stands out, and is particularly appropriate for this summer.

    I remember the summer 15 years ago when we switched our host camp after 5 years at another camp.  It was an amazing summer, as everything felt new again. The energy (which is never lacking at Sorcerers Safari) seemed to be ramped up that summer in everyone, staff and campers. Exploring the new grounds, and meeting new challenges really made everyone bring their ‘A’ Game. It was great.  The move was extremely positive, making me that much more excited to see what our move will bring this summer.

    Magic Mike Segal (SorcerersSafari.ca)
    Camp Director: 1996 - 2016

The 2016 season of Sorcerers Safari will run from Sunday August 7th through Friday August 12th, 2016.  For more information, or to register, please visit SorcerersSafari.ca

19 March 2012

Got Talent: Toronto and Vancouver do!

Updated July 2017.  Audition video and other video links have been removed as they are no longer available to view.

Welcome iTricks readers. We hope you enjoy your stay! (And thanks iTricks, for the nice shout out!)

[Edited:


  • Mar 22 to add link of Lucas being interviewed on CGT Backstage.
  • Mar 21 to identify Jordan Murciano and to include links for Edward Stone's and Jordan's Toronto auditions and to embed video of Oslen's Vancouver audition.
  • Mar 19 at 7:40pm to identify Warren Toaze, embed YouTube clips and add CGT Backstage link.]
On Canada's Got Talent last night we saw a number of talented magicians!
 
From Toronto Auditions Part 2 (at about the 14 minute mark) we saw clips from, the Neil Croswell segment posted last week, Ryan Joyce, Mike D'Urzo, a gentleman with a cigarette in his ear Warren Toaze and Jordan Murciano a young man with fire in his hand.  It's too bad that they were all spliced together in what felt like under 30 seconds.  Somewhere in there there was also a glimpse of Edward Stone.  They were followed by Lucas Wilson doing a timed, suspended, world record breaking straitjacket escape!  Watch the video of Graeme O'Neil interviewing Lucas on CGT Backstage.
[Thanks to Ian Crawford and Graeme O'Neil for providing Warren Toaze's name!  Thanks also to Edward Stone for pointing me to the Roger's Video Anytime clips!]
Roger's Anyplace TV streamed video of auditions for Edward and Jordan. (These videos are no longer availabe.)

The following YouTube videos are no longer available:
Neil Croswell's audition:


Clips from Ryan Joyce's audition:

Lucas Wilson's audition:

From the Halifax and Vancouver Part 2 show (at about the 35 minute mark) we were treated to The Dance and Illusions of Oslen. From CGT Backstage, watch as Oslen celebrates his standing ovation backstage! 



They showed Neil, Ryan, Mike, Warren, Lucas, Edward and Oslen progressing to the next round!  Congratulations gentleman!  And thank you for doing such a wonderful job of representing magic!


Trivia:  Neil, Mike and Ryan are all Sorcerers Safari Alumni either as campers or counsellors!

03 May 2016

Diary of a Sorcerers Safari newbie - part 2

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A camper's notebook. Photo by Rosemary Reid
A camper's notebook.
Day 1: Friday August 14, 2015 (cont)*
6pm
The cabins are huge. You could fit 16 people in our cabin -- I’m glad there are only 10 of us. The kids in my cabin are really nice. A bunch of them are here for the first time and some of them have been here before. Steven Kline made us fabulous name tags with an old magic comic book theme. Kids that were here before brought their old ones. Some campers have sooo many! My counsellor is nice and so is my “counsellor in training.” There’s an instructor in our cabin too. I hope it’s not like having a school teacher live with you, making you do work all the time. That’d be a drag.
One of the cabins.
One of the cabins.

I did my swim test. The lifeguard said our “swimming didn’t have to be fast or pretty, we just have to do 2 lengths.” I passed! Turns out, even if you don’t pass the swim test you can go in the deep water if you put on a life jacket. They want us to have as much fun as possible. This place is incredible!
At the swim docks. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
At the swim docks.


Learning from Daryl during free time. Photo by James Carey Lauder.
Learning from Daryl during free time.

The Mess Hall (the place where we eat) is enormous! Someone said they filmed a famous movie here over 30 years ago. [Note to self: look up “Meatballs” when I get home.] Each cabin sits at their own big picnic-type table and then people go and get food (even seconds!), and take back dirty dishes, and wipe down the table. Everyone gets assigned a job. (I even saw the special guest, Daryl Easton, bringing dirty dishes from his table to the “dirty dish window.” Wow. Everybody pulls their weight!) We had potatoes and turkey and bread. They made me eat some salad -- Mom would be happy. Then we had dessert -- brownies! Sooooo good! (Worth eating salad for.)

The Mess Hall.
The Mess Hall


To be continued ...


--
The 2016 season of Sorcerers Safari will run from Sunday August 7th through Friday August 12th, 2016. For more information, or to register, please visit SorcerersSafari.ca


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* The “Diary of a Sorcerers Safari Newbie” is primarily based on the 2015 camp season.  It is an aggregate of many perspectives, and at times includes events from previous years.