31 March 2016

#BrowsersBash2016 social media

As many of you know, Saturday is the "Browser's Bash," an all day convention hosted by the Browser's Den of Magic.

Like last year, I plan to be doing some combination of live-Tweeting and live-blogging of the event.  Apologies in advance for clogging your feeds.  To follow my Twitter account, you can use the web or use the Twitter widget on the right side of this page, under the "Selected Anniversaries" feature.

If you're at the event and Tweeting, I encourage you to add the hashtag "#BrowsersBash2016" to your Tweets.  I'll be adding a feature near the top of this page, which collects and posts all Tweets tagged in this fashion.

If it pleases the technology overlords, I'll also upload some footage to the new Canada's Magic YouTube channel.

I look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday!
 

Top 5 posts for March 2016

Here are the most viewed posts at Canada's Magic this month:


5. Greg Frewin's Imagine Tour - Catch him while you can!
4. Toronto: Zack Mirza's "Immaculate Deceptions" - Did you go? What did you think?
3. Monday musings: Search engine optimization - Nothing attracts comment spam, like ranting about comment spam.
2. Shin Lim in the Huffington Post - An interesting read.


and the most viewed post this month  ...

1. Random thoughts on "Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries" - You can see them at the CAM convention in April!

30 March 2016

Timmins Comedy Festival 2016

From the Facebook page of IncrediBrent and Super Sarah:
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Here's some Big News: On April 2nd, we will be sharing the stage with these other funny folks at the Timmins Comedy Festival! We'll also have our own show at 2:00 in the afternoon on that day.
Posted by IncrediBrent and Super Sarah on Thursday, 18 February 2016


29 March 2016

Ottawa: Michael Bourada

From Michael Bourada's Twitter feed: 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 http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

28 March 2016

James Randi's "An Honest Liar" on PBS TONIGHT

Check your local listings.


From PBS:
For the last half-century, James “The Amazing” Randi has entertained millions with his dazzling feats of magic, escape, and trickery. Along the way he discovered that faith healers, fortune-tellers, and psychics were using his beloved magician’s tricks to swindle money from the credulous. Fed up with the fraud, he dedicated his life to exposing con artists with a wit and over-the-top showmanship all his own. An Honest Liar is part detective story, part biography, and a bit of a magic act itself.


Read more.

Toronto: "Magicians: Life in the Impossible"

From Hot Docs:
April 30th, May 2nd, and May 8th

An average magician can entertain but a world-class artist can reawaken your faith in the impossible. In this utterly charming showbiz chronicle, four stellar magicians will amaze even the staunchest of skeptics. But for each of these virtuosos, true success seems illusory. Among them: Brian Gillis was Johnny Carson’s favourite close-up magician and a regular on The Tonight Show; David Minkin can levitate almost anything with his mind; and Jon Armstrong might be the best card trickster in the world—but none of them are satisfied. Each can captivate a crowd, but how long can they chase their dreams and at what cost?

Read more and buy tickets.

27 March 2016

Get well soon Shin!

From Clive Court's Facebook page:
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Tough break! Just as the TV opportunities around the world were beginning to build for Shin Lim, an injury to his hand...
Posted by Clive Court on Friday, 25 March 2016



26 March 2016

Vancouver: Shawn Farquhar at Telus Science World

From Shawn Farquhar's Facebook page:
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People often ask if I am performing locally, and this time I can say yes! It's a one time only performance at Telus...
Posted by Shawn Farquhar on Wednesday, 23 March 2016



25 March 2016

Billy Kidd on CTV News Edmonton

From CTV News Edmonton:

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24 March 2016

Broken wand: Tom Dawson

From the 52 Plus Joker 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 http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

Rhonda Trichter Hawes to 52+Joker43 mins · Truro, MA, United States · I am devastated to pass along the news that...
Posted by 52 Plus Joker on Tuesday, 22 March 2016

23 March 2016

New offerings from Phil Matlin

As many of you know, Phil Matlin, owner of Montréal's magic shop Perfect Magic, is also a professional ragtime piano player.  He's been known to tour now and again.  Recently, he's added some new selections to his YouTube channel.  They include: Chattanooga Choo Choo, Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, A-Razz-Ma-Tazz, After You've Gone, Basin Street Blues, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Sentimental Journey, and Alexander's Ragtime Band.


Have a listen to Alexander's Ragtime Band:




Tracks from his CDs Ragtime Daze, or Ragtime Magic, have also been used to accompany some magic acts!







22 March 2016

James Randi on W5 Extended

Last week W5 ran a show about Fortune tellers giving questionable advice.  As part of their web extras, they have a bit with The Amazing Randi showing an example of mentalism to Sandie Rinaldo.

Watch the clip below:



Watch the part one of the show, part two of the show, and read more about it at the CTV website.

21 March 2016

Monday musings: What's the strangest thing that's ever happened to you during a show?

I've seen a lot of strange and unexpected things happen at shows.  I've seen stage platforms give way.  I've seen entire sets fall over actors (thankfully no one was injured), I've seen audience volunteers walk off the stage.  And there was that one time when a smoke machine caused a cape to catch fire...

I haven't performed often enough to experience anything like that.  Best I can do is report a family member who zealously tried to make a fool out of grade-school-me (boy was he surprised when he opened his hands to find an entire family of sponge rabbits!), and the suggestion of "Abracadabra, hey presto!" as a magic "word" by a grade-school student.

I'm sure a number of you have some juicy tales to tell though, and I'd love to hear them!

I'll let James Alan start you off with this video from his Reality Based Magic post, "The weirdest thing to ever happen to me on stage."




And now, over to you. What's the strangest thing that's ever happened to you during a show?





20 March 2016

Eric Leclerc: 2016 entertainer of the year

Congratulations Eric!

From Eric Leclerc'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 http://CanadasMagic.blogspot.com. Some of the embedded code may be visible in this notification.

HEY guys I won a thing!! #Facesmagazine named me their ''2016 Entertainer of the year''!!And for once I didn't have to pay my grandmother's crew at the retirement home to online power-vote for me for hours
Posted by Eric Leclerc on Monday, 29 February 2016

19 March 2016

Mike D'Urzo 2016 "Performer of the Year"

Congratulations Mike!

From Mike D'Urzo's Facebook page:
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Winner of the 2016 "Performer of the Year" award by Festivals & Events Ontario! #FEO2016
Posted by Mega Magic on Friday, 4 March 2016

18 March 2016

Toronto: Browser's Bash Mystery Guest

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17 March 2016

Random thoughts on "Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries"

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Marion and Ted Outerbridge perform their show "Clockwork Mysteries" last month.  They had just completed a 5,500 mile US lecture tour.  I caught them at the Milton Centre for the Arts.
[As an aside, I encourage you to go and see a show at this fabulous 500 seat theatre.  It's approximately 25 minutes west of Toronto's western border.  The facilities are modern and spacious.  On the lower level, it appears that all seats have amazing sight lines.  (I didn't venture up to the balcony.)  The seats are a little bit wider than standard theatre seats, which makes them very comfortable!  They offer amenities like a coat check (by donation) and the ability to pre-order intermission refreshments.  Best of all, parking is free and plentiful.]

Here are some random thoughts that came to mind while watching their amazing time travel themed show:
  • A fast paced, extremely entertaining, high-energy show.
  • All illusions, big and small, were masterfully performed.
  • Greta the Psychic Goose earns her keep.
  • There is a nice ratio of grand illusion, intimate magic, and mentalism.
  • I really enjoy watching "assistants" do magic in their own right.  Marion owns it!
  • Those of you who know me well, know that my opinion of magicians is heavily weighted on how they treat their audience members.  One of my favourite moments in the show, lasted no more than 2 seconds.  Ted walked into the audience to select a volunteer.  He found someone he wanted to bring on stage.  She said, "no."  Instead of cajoling or otherwise pressuring her, he simply moved on and found someone else.  That's how you make the audience feel like you can be trusted to treat them right.  Show people respect from the get go.
  • Ted has a knack for picking awesome audience volunteers.  Six year old Archer was a really good sport and owned that stage!
  • Nine year olds can't be trusted to count down from 90.
  • Ted's disco ball jacket is a thing of sheer beauty!
  • I love that audiences in 2016, still enjoy watching someone get sawed in half, into halves, into two pieces.  
  • Among other wonderful pieces, we were treated to: "The Psychic is Right,"  "The Time Machine," "Alarm Clock," "Floating Barricade Light," "Outside of the Box," and their elegantly performed "Levitation."
  • The biggest mystery of the night for me:  How does Marion manage all of those costume changes?


If you get a chance to see them perform their show "Clockwork Mysteries," go and see it!

(If you're at the upcoming CAM convention, you'll get a taste of their show in the Grand Gala performance at the CAMaraderie Convention/Festival de magie de Québec on April 23, 2016.  They're also scheduled to perform at SAM New York's "2016 Salute to Magic" on May 7th.)

To learn more about this fabulous duo, listen to the Scott Wells' podcast 278: The Inner Secrets of the Outerbridges or visit their website at www.outerbridgemagic.com.

Disclosure:  My family and I were guests at this show. The opinions expressed above are entirely my own. I did not receive compensation for the writing or the publishing of this article.

16 March 2016

Broken wand: Pat Lyons (aka Pat Patterson)

From Magicana's Facebook page dated March 15:
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PAT LYONS (PATTERSON)Magicana is sad to report the passing of famed magic illustrator Pat Lyons (aka Pat Patterson)...
Posted by Magicana Sharing Wonder on Tuesday, 15 March 2016


15 March 2016

Toronto: Zack Mirza's "Immaculate Deceptions"

From the "The Drake Hotel Presents: Zack Mirza - IMMACULATE DECEPTIONS - LIVE! Magic Show" Facebook event:
Catch me LIVE! on stage, Friday March 18th at The Drake Hotel. Tickets will be available online through The Drake website (https://guestlistapp.com/events/408468) for $20. Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 dependent upon availability due to limited seating.

14 March 2016

Monday musings: Popcorn and milk

I wonder if anyone has ever incorporated this into their act? A fun experiment for little hands during March break!
"You can fill a glass full to the brim with milk, and fill another glass of the same size brim full of popcorn, and then you can put all the popcorn kernel into the milk, and milk will not run over. You cannot do this with bread. Popcorn and milk are the only two things that will go into the same place."[1]

I wonder, does it really only work with milk?  And if so, why?


From Peter Brown's YouTube channel:



--

[1] Wilder, Laura Ingalls, and Garth Williams. "Winter Night." Farmer Boy. New York: Harper & Bros., 1953.