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25 September 2020

52 Plus Joker 2020 online convention

From 52 Plus Joker:

Wed. Oct. 14th – Sat. Oct. 17th

Virtually meet legendary collectors & designers, hobnob with premier card manufacturers, and talk playing cards with other enthusiasts for three days!

It’s going to be the largest playing card celebration the internet has ever seen!

NOTE: During the above dates, we will get together using the online video conferencing platform ZOOM. More info to follow. Stay tuned.

Convention Fee: FREE

Read more and register.

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Convention Auction 2020 For those who have not yet received it, the September 2020 issue of “Clear the Decks,” the newsletter of 52 Plus Joker, has come out. All members of 52 Plus Joker should be receiving their copies within the next few days. Prominent in this issue is the listing for 49 playing card lots, shown above, consigned to the online auction that will take place during the club’s virtual convention on 14-17 October. Details on the auction, and the convention, will be available on the website, www.52plusjoker.org. This year’s auction promises to be spectacular. The 49 lots shown are just a sampling of what will be available. But even just this sampling includes decks that are seldom seen for sale, such as the original Tiffany Harlequin transformation deck from 1879, the Piatnik Crimean War deck, circa 1858, and the New York Consolidated Card Company’s 1897 Mediaeval deck (considered the most beautiful deck they ever issued). More details and more auction lots are promised to come. Stay tuned. #playingcards #playingcardart #playingcarddesign #playingcardphotography #playingcardcollecting #playingcardcollections

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ATTENTION: #PlayingCard Collectors Unite! . Mark these dates in your calendar -- October 14th - 17th, 2020. . We are holding our annual #PlayingCard convention, virtually. And you're invited FREE - No membership required (for most of it). . Prepare for #PlayingCard Lectures, Mega-Auctions, New Deck Launches, Virtual Collection Visits, Diamond Awards and much more. Events are subject to change without notice. . It's our pleasure to introduce you to this year's speakers. In no particular order (exact lecture times TBA): . 1) Jason McKinstry (@Jason_Mckinstry): Early American Manufacturers . 2) Kevin Reylek (@KReylek): Marked Playing Cards . 3) Michael Slaughter (@Potuspcc): President of USPCC @OfficialBicycleCards . 4) Rory Rennick (@RoryRennick): Racially Charged Playing Cards . 5) Paul Ruccio (@Jetsettercards): Branding Playing Cards . 6) Patrick Varnavas (@Patch.God): Future Playing Card Innovation . Follow them! . More information to come about these #PlayingCard luminaries as well as our virtual convention. Stay tuned. . Want to learn more about 52 Plus Joker? LINK IN BIO.

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24 September 2020

Lecture: Mike Caveney & Tina Lenert (Oct 1)

From IBM Ring 17:

That Hat & Rabbit Club in Toronto presents an informal get together with Mike Caveney and Tina Lenert.

Tina has just released a new book “Finding the Spotlight”, part of Vanishing Inc’s Astonishing Essay series.

Mike is going to be sharing some of the mysteries of “Egyptian Hall Museum” and its relationship to a special magic happening in Toronto.

Tina Lenert’s life in magic began with a chance visit to the Magic Castle. She was already a professional mime, and the Castle inspired her to find ways to combine the arts of mime and magic. She has been doing that ever since, creating various acts that have earned her numerous awards, including Magic Castle Stage Magician of the Year. Her performances have taken her around the world several times including performances at the London Palladium, Princess Grace Theatre in Monte Carlo, the Wintergarten in Berlin.

Mike’s talents have taken him from Japan to Russia, from Monte Carlo to Borneo, Australia, China, throughout Europe, South America and most of the 50 States. On television, Mike was dubbed one of the NEW VAUDEVILLIANS and the Hollywood Reporter described him as “…one of the funniest magicians in America.”

He is a member of the Inner Magic Circle of London, England and a life member of Hollywood’s Magic Castle where he has twice been voted Stage Magician of the Year.

Mike has performed on the legendary Orient Express, at the London Palladium, at the Sydney Arts Festival and was featured on NBC’s World’s Greatest Magic television special, the Late Late Show with James Corden, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Mike has written more than a dozen books on the practice, theory, and history of magic including Magicomedy, The Great Leon. Harry Anderson–Wise Guy, and Carter the Great, which was awarded the John Nevil Maskelyne award for literature by London’s Magic Circle plus additional awards from The Milbourne Christopher Foundation and the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame. In 1999, Mike was awarded the Literary Fellowship by Hollywood’s Magic Castle. He co-wrote Servais Le Roy – Monarch of Mystery and Kellar’s Wonders. In 2009 Germany’s Taschen Books published MAGIC – 1400s to the 1950s. This massive tome, co-written with Jim Steinmeyer, has been translated into six languages. Mike has published three volumes of his on-going column Classic Correspondence from Egyptian Hall Museum. His life and all of his original magic appears in Mike Caveney Wonders and The Conference Illusions, a two-volume set that earned him the ‘Sharing Secrets’ award from the Allan Slaight Foundation in Toronto


Read more and register.

23 September 2020

Welcoming a new Friend: Peter Mennie

Please join me in welcoming our newest friend, Peter Mennie!

Based out of London, Ontario, Peter is a long-time reader of (and contributor to) the blog. Prior to The Great Pause, Peter would often be found performing at Ontario resorts or working behind the scenes with local theatre groups.  He was also regularly featured on Roger's Daytime London.

Visit Peter's website at PeterMennie.ca and follow Peter on Facebook, on Twitter @PeterMennie, or on Instagram @PeterMennie.

Thank you Peter, for befriending Canada's Magic

22 September 2020

A Night in with Lucy Darling

A great chance to witness the charm and magic of Lucy Darling, the recipient of the 2019 AMA Stage Magician of the Year award! Shows for this run start September 25 until October 4th and are available at TheLucyDarling.com.

If her current show is half as much fun as her May 15th live stream, it will be excellent!


From The Lucy Darling:

“VERDICT: highly recommended for a very magical, entertaining and comical interlude to the current uncertain times. Be sure to (virtually) invite Lucy Darling into your home for refreshing hour of fun, magical entertainment.”

Lucy Darling is an award-winning magician known the world over for her wit, her charm, and her exceptionally good hair.

Along with her live-in butlers Marcy and Laurence, Lucy is here with a wonderful mix of playful interactions, hilarious comedy, and impossible magical feats, to offer you an incredible immersive experience. This show was carefully designed to satisfy your deep desire for a fun night out, while staying safely inside.










21 September 2020

Random thoughts about "Piff Live from Las Vegas"

Last Saturday, my family participated in "Piff Live from Las Vegas."  I say "participated in" because it is a truly interactive experience!

Piff with A, a very happy volunteer.
I think I heard A say,
"This is so cool, he picked me!"
Photo credit: Piff

Here are some random thoughts that came to mind while watching "Piff Live from Las Vegas":
  • It is an unexpected treat to see Piff perform live from Vegas, without having to shell out for airfare and accommodations.
  • Great view of the show, no one kicking my seat from behind, adjustable audio, no traffic, and free parking!
  • The show is suitable for the whole family.
  • It is packed with comedy, mentalism, and magic!
  • Jade works really, really hard!  
  • So do Francis, Alex, and of course Mr. Piffles.
  • The show takes audience interaction to a whole new level!  
    • There's an increased likelihood of spending time on the big screen if:
      your preschoolers / puppets / stuffies / dragons / pets like dancing to Funky Town!
      - you choose to participate in the scavenger hunts
    • There's the standard interaction of volunteers to assist with tricks.  
    • Combined with the excitement of a scavenger hunt.  
    • Plus trivia (for iPhone users).  
    • Top it all off with the roving fan camera concept done at sporting events, where anyone with their camera on can be featured on the "big screen!"
  • Never fear, no one is forced to participate.
  • There are sometimes prizes for volunteers!
  • Volunteer selection is done very creatively.
  • Volunteers appear "up on stage" with the dragon himself.
  • For the magicians:
    • Piff weighed in on "art vs craft".
    • Quick demo of a recent release by Richard Young. 
    • Increased shot at prizes if you know your David Copperfield and / or Piff trivia.


Here's what others had to say about the show:




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.