13 April 2021

Broken wand: Harry Robert Herbert

Our sincere condolences to Harry's family and friends.


From the Wallace Funeral Home:

Harry was a hard working man who was never idle. He was a true craftsman and jewellery maker. He owned and operated The Magic Lantern Gift Shop with his wife and love of his life, Anne. He was an internationally known magician, a tailor, a member of the historical society, a member of the Sussex Silverados and a very proud and active member of the Penobsquis Baptist Church. He loved to lead Bible Study and teach Sunday School. It was never odd to see him out and about or stopping to talk to someone.

Harry will live on in the hearts of his children:Richard Herbert and his wife Eva, Steven Herbert and Karen Herbert; his stepchildren: Kevin Demas and Christie Demas all of British Columbia; as well as several gradnchildren and great grandchildren.

Mr Harry Robert Herbert of Kingston, formerly of Penobsquis passed away at the Sussex Health Centre on April 6, 2021 at the age of 88.

Read more.

[via the Magic Circle of St John]

12 April 2021

Late Night with Ben and Jonah [April 25]

From the April 11th Instagram Post by the Toronto Magic Company:

Late Night with Ben and Jonah takes everything you love about late night tv and combines it with a highly interactive virtual magic show… Toronto Magic Company style.

You can expect fun, special guests, outrageous segments, and a whole lot of magic.

Plus this time, it's not just Ben and Jonah. We're bringing on two special guests to share incredible magic of their own to blow your mind: One of Boston's finest up and coming entertainers - Colin Robinson, and AMA award winner, and Penn and Teller Fooler, Suzanne! 




09 April 2021

Darcy Oake in the season finale of Hudson and Rex (and interview with Franz Harary)

Updated April 10th to add:

  • screen shots of Darcy's appearance added to the end of the Hudson and Rex segment.


Darcy is guest starring on the season finale of Hudson and Rex, next Tuesday at 9pm EST on CityTV! 

(At the bottom of the post is Franz Harary Talking Magic with Darcy Oake.  They talk about touring Canada, Britain’s Got Talent and his 200 million viewers, The Illusionists on Broadway and oh yes, performing for Queen Elisabeth. )

From the April 7th Facebook post by Darcy Oake:

[with thanks to Peter Mennie for the tip!]



From the February 16th Facebook post by Darcy Oake:


08 April 2021

A peek behind the curtain with Big Trick Energy

A peek behind the curtain with Big Trick Energy 

In October we reported that Chris Ramsay, Eric Leclerc, Wes Barker, and Alex Boyer created a show called Big Trick Energy that is scheduled to air on April 22nd on truTV in the US.


The Universe knocked (for real) last week, offering us the chance to interview these newly minted "bad boys of magic" and find out more about their show.  We happily accepted.

Tell us about a memorable prank that didn't make it to air.
Eric: I convinced Wes' wife to have a Boudoir sexy photoshoot with me in a hotel room months before filming, with a professional photographer and the network deemed it a little too risqué because they didn't know our characters yet, they didn’t know how good friends we are. 
So it’s going to be up on my YouTube channel.    
The show is unscripted.  Can you give an example of things that turned out better than you hoped?
Chris: Definitely the thrift shop.  That was probably right down the last thing and we surprised you guys so bad he fell on his a$$! That was like the opposite of where the trick was going to go originally so it's just beautiful like all the minds working together and then you come up with something that no one wrote down on a piece of paper the night before.

Eric: This show is unscripted but there’s also pranks. So we're having secret meetings, secret production calls with producers and show runners where maybe one or two people aren’t involved because to we’re there to prank them.

Chris: It might be three versus one, one pranking three, one pranking two, two people pranking two other people and this  constant secrecy going around.  A lot of us are blind to that actively because we want to make the show good.  So, I'll be at table they’ll go “Chris, can you leave?”  And I’m like, “got it.” 

[SPOILER ALERT (but you may have seen it already on social)]

Eric:  A perfect example was in the show in the first season in episode one they crushed my BMW, my car, my baby, and I knew something was up but I had no idea that they brought my car down and crushed it in front of me. It was really something that I had no idea so that synergy is very interesting amongst friends, y’know to hide stuff like that.  

What unique talent or skill did everyone bring to the project?

Chris:  Wes is a massive jack of all trades. He learned everything so quickly he has all these crazy abilities that we're still finding out about because he keeps them secret and he practices in the dark and then all the sudden he'll show up and be an amazing axe thrower or a ride a unicycle or something. He’s got a lot of hobbies. 
I love putting Eric in the worst situations and watching him get out of them cuz that's his skill, it really is, he can get out of any situation flawlessly and turn it around.
Alex doing all the music.  All the animals actually.  We found out, there’s something we didn’t know, Alex does all the animal magic [in the show].  If you look at all the trailers and stuff you keep seeing Alex with animals and it doesn't appear that much in the show but they used all of it. So Alex is now the professional animal wrangler!
Wes:  And Chris talks a lot.  I don't know if you noticed.

What were the more challenging parts of the project?

Alex:  I really thought by the end of the season one we’re not going to be friends anymore because it’s hard to be with same people all the time and riffing and being like  “I like that.  I don’t like that. Who’s going to do this trick?”  But it brought us closer. 

Chris: I think obviously, the pandemic has been challenging to shoot through but besides all that we were in a bit of a time crunch too. We had a couple months of production leading up to this, but when you're in a position to create these magic tricks, we need professional builders, we need locations, we need all these things. With the pandemic happening nothing was super accessible. We had to really think on our feet for a lot of those things. So a lot of late-night meetings staying up till four in the morning, finalizing what we're doing the next day showing up at 7 a.m. call time. So the difficult part was really creating all of that ‘cause there is a lot of magic in the show. 



There’s a ton of magic and we wanted to make it all original. Not out of the box tricks.  We wanted to make this show as original as we could. 
That was the most challenging part.


Eric: We really had to rely on our bag of tricks…

Chris:  … and also on our magic consultants. We had Daniel Garcia, Enrico de la Vega, Marcus Eddie, and we also had Blake Vogt helping us out.  So we had the best, arguably The Best magic team did on the planet.  We could not have done it without them. Period.  The show would not be possible without those guys. One hundred percent are they took it on their backs and you know so like really us as a group putting our minds together every single day, every single minute, to go into the show.

What's the origin story of how the four of you came together
Chris: Mainly through magic conventions.  These two [Alex and Eric] have known each other because they grew up in the same place, Eric kind of took Alex under his wing a long time ago and taught him a lot of magic and business stuff.  Then we kind of all met at a magic convention. You know how magic conventions go, most people just hang out at the bar like once you're done watching the shows, going to dealers room. You go to the bar and then you find each other and we found that we really clicked.  We have the same sense of humour, we didn't get offended by each other just you know digging in each other and stuff like that so we became instant best friends.

Wes: Eric was the common thread at the beginning. I think he was holding it all together a little bit.

Eric: Wes and I worked on a show called Trick’d in 2015, Wes was a consultant on the show, we became best friends.

Chris:  Me and Wes did Wizard Wars around the same time and were in the studio together.

Who are their non-magical inspirations?

Wes:   I’m totally inspired by the world of stand up comedy just I love the world of stand up so that's that's where I get all inspiration from and then I'm a huge like Jim Carrey fan my whole life so I always try to think of that when I’m on camera and be more physical.
Eric: Steve Carell.  
Alex:  For me it’s the world of music, like the bands and stuff how they work together. 

You’ve all be YouTubing / magicianing on TV for many, many years.  How have you changed or evolved?
Eric:  I mean when I started YouTubing it was 10 years ago I did this project [Editor's note: Eric's referring to his Project 365], I did a video every day and I didn't know what audiences want I just wanted to do this for myself and now these guys are much better at it than me nowadays and much more successful at.  It's a big thing to listen to your audience, right?

Chris: But I also think it’s up to people in the entertainment industry and in magic to teach that audience where magic is going and what's happening.  Always catering to an audience can be a detriment because in you’re stagnant. You know if you give me analytics and numbers I look at them.  Then you think, forget all that.  We’ve got a vision, we think this is right, we think this is the way to go, let's see if they'll follow us instead of us following what they want. I really believe that it's up to people to push the boundaries and no matter what entertainment field you're in. Respectfully, magic on TV in the past 20 years... David Blaine changed the game up in 96, but since then I would say only probably Michael Carbonaro has done something totally different. Other than that it's reiterations of the same show over and over and over and over and over. But it took those guys for us to realize that something needs to change. 
Without them we wouldn't have come up with these crazy ideas and this crazy outlook we have today with magic. We're really trying to change it up with a vision we have for magic.


Thank you Chris, Eric, Wes, and Alex for making the time to answer our questions.  We hope it comes to Canada soon! 

Catch Big Trick Energy on April 22nd on truTV in the US!

07 April 2021

Hidden Wonders - virtual experience [April 17]

There's also a 5pm PST show time!


From the March 31st Hidden Wonders Facebook post:

We're hosting an evening Hidden Wonders Experience starting at 7Pm on Saturday, April 17th.  Come have some fun...

06 April 2021

Ring 17 hosts Barron & Athena Stringfellow Magic in the Niche of Time

From IBM Ring 17:

Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM Eastern

Barron & Athena have assembled a Zoominar about finding your niche. Whether you are a professional, a hobbyist or in another field than magic entirely, niching is a great way to add value to whatever you do! This is a lecture about the business side of magic, but Barron still has a few tricks up his sleeve for virtual guests.

Read more and register.

02 April 2021

You're invited to a CAM JAM with Chip Romero

Wednesday, April 14 at 8 PM EST

This is a magicians-only event and it's free to attend.  Membership is not required. 


From The Canadian Association of Magicians:

Recently, we caught rumour of a magician with some rare and exciting items.  

A collection of historical magic props, illusions and memorabilia that was out of this world. Including some treasured Canadian history from the likes of Doug Henning and Dai Vernon!

So, we offered this magician some maple syrup and Tim Hortons to convince him to share a peek at the rarest items in his collection!

We're happy to say Chip Romero agreed!  

Chip is a professional magician and collector who has offered to share CAM JAM attendees with a unique glimpse into magic's cherished history. Here's an opportunity to look behind the curtain in one of the largest collections of Doug Henning props, illusions and most treasured memorabilia.   

Read more.

01 April 2021

See you on the other side!

"My friend in Leicestershire offered me use of a flat he has.  It's sitting empty for at least the next 6 months,"  I said sarcastically to KOP.

KOP replied, "You could benefit from a change of scenery.  We can manage without you here for a bit."

I blinked in disbelief.

A trip on my own?  Time to myself? 

Everyone here can get by fine without my constant hovering.  Kidlet has outgrown the moniker. 

But how would I pay for it all?  Sure the rent is covered, but there's food and airfare...


You may remember me raving about a complimentary set of Changing Cards I received last year.  Recently I placed an order for more of Richard Young's beautifully handcrafted miracles.

During our correspondence about my order, Richard mentioned that his business is doing really well. He is so busy making his Changing Cards and his new Torn and Restored Cards, that he barely has time to keep up with the business administration side of it all!


*knock knock knock*

Um.  Hello?

Hi!  It's Opportunity knocking.



Just like that, after a little back and forth, I've landed a part-time gig in England doing back office work for Changing Cards.  (It comes with the ominous title of "Head of Glue.")

In my downtime I hope to explore the member benefits of The Magic Circle.  (You may have heard me spontaneously gush about this organization in a recent podcast.)

During the transition, there may be a slow down in publishing here.  (There will be lots of time to create and publish during the enforced 10 day quarantine on arrival!)  I plan to continue my coverage of the Canadian magic scene while abroad.

I'm really looking forward to the change of pace, working with Richard, the chance to finally watch BBC's "Staged," and the strong possibility of me receiving my vaccinations ahead of whenever I'd be scheduled to receive them here!

See you on the other side ...













... of April 1st!