Showing posts with label Julie Eng. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Julie Eng. Show all posts

24 July 2019

Julie Eng in Business Class magazine

From the June 17th article "Magician Julie Eng conjures wonder" by Keith Norbury in The world from here:
Magic has played a leading role in her life for as long as Julie Eng, BCom ’95, can remember.

“The story goes that I wasn’t delivered by the stork,” the Toronto-based Eng says. “I was pulled out of the hat.”

She learned her first magic trick from her magician father, Tony Eng, when she was just a toddler. He later introduced her to a secret world that would eventually permeate every aspect of her life and lead her to networking with the likes of Las Vegas showmen Penn and Teller.

Read more.

07 May 2019

Magicana recipient of AMA Literary and Media Fellowship

Congratulations to David Ben, Julie Eng, and everyone else who has poured their energy into Magicana, the 2018 recipient of the Academy of Magical Arts Literary and Media Fellowship!


From the Magicana Twitter feed:
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24 January 2019

Bullock, Mayhew, and Eng in the CBC!

From the January 23rd article "Escape the headlines, find the magic: Why we need the oldest tricks in the book more than ever" by Conor Sweetman in the CBC:
In the 1900s, the silver screen provided some distraction from the news of the World Wars, but it also served as a conduit for propaganda. These days, we similarly struggle to find escapism that isn't tinged with politics. Only now, partisan tension seems to follow us everywhere, beyond the movie theatre and into comedy clubs, sports arenas and  every content-producing corner of the internet.

It's hard to hide from it — all of our open tabs beckon us to dip one more time into what will inevitably put a damper on the day. But what if there were a way to momentarily hush the noise and avoid getting swept away by the deluge of headlines? What if, just for an evening, instead of going into a tailspin of reading, arguing and frantically fact-checking...you allowed yourself to be fooled?


Read more.

06 November 2018

Julie Eng on Pop Life CTV

From the Pop Life CTV Facebook page:

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21 October 2018

McIlhany Film Archive acquired by Magicana

From the October 11th article "McIlhany Archive Moving to The Screening Room" by Julie Eng at Magicana:
Imagine it… Houdini, Alexander, Buckley, Buckingham, Blackstone, Dunninger, Kreskin, Charlie Miller in rare, stunning performances… and right on your computer screen.

Magicana is delighted to announce the acquisition of the McIlhany Film Archive of historical magic film and videos.

In September, it was confirmed that we were the successful bidder for the collection through a sealed-bid auction conducted by The Magic Auctioneer David Goodman in cooperation with Owen Magic Supreme.

And what a collection it is!       


Read more.

27 September 2018

Julie Eng talks Johnny Thompson

From the September 24th post "Johnny and Me" by Julie Eng at Magicana:
She squeals and The Great Tomsoni’s face says it all. He’s found the wad of bubble gum his beautiful assistant, “& Co.”, has just stashed—her improvised solution after being scolded—inside his top hat. My sister and I look at each other with total delight. We proceed to mimic The Great Tomsoni, move for move, stretching the sticky ball between his fingers. We collapse into hysterics in our backstage hiding spot when he reveals that this is hardly the first time he’s had to deal with his assistant’s antics. With an exasperated sigh and eyes rolling to the rafters, The Great Tomsoni peels back his tuxedo lapel and displays the other dozen pink, gooey masses already squashed on to his jacket. This visual punch line never fails to crack us up.

It’s the late Seventies. I am about six years old, and my little sister, Sandra, and I are tucked away in our “secret spot” backstage at a variety show in British Columbia. Our father, Tony Eng, had been hired to perform his act, Mysteries of the Orient, with our mother, Ann, on a program with several other acts. On the bill was a big headliner from LA, Johnny and Pam Thompson, a.k.a. The Great Tomsoni & Co.

Read more.

24 May 2018

David Peck interviews The Sentimentalists, Julie Eng, and Daniel Zuckerbrot

David Peck has previously interviewed many magicians on his Face 2 Face podcast.  Recently he's added The Sentimentalists (episode 362), as well as Julie Eng and Daniel Zuckerbrot (episode 373) to his growing list.


From Face 2 Face Live: The Sentimentalists – Episode 362
The Sentimentalists and I talk about skepticism, assumptions and religious belief, burlesque theatre, mentalism and magic, scientific headspace and what it means to be a collector of rare oddities.

Biography
World-renowned mentalist Mysterion partners with mentalist Steffi Kay to create a mind reading experience that is truly breathtaking. Steffi brings a grace, flair and elegance to the mentalism she practises and with her vintage look, approach and style you will feel transported back to Vaudeville to the golden age of magic.

Read more and listen to podcast.



From Face 2 Face Live: Daniel Zuckerbrot and Julie Eng on “The Science of Magic” – Episode 373
Julie Eng, Daniel Zuckerbot and David Peck talk about their new film The Science of Magic, change blindness, assumptions, subverting reality, free will, doubt and the problems of perception.

Synopsis
Magic has become the latest investigative tool for scientists exploring human cognition, neurobiology, and behaviour. Across Canada, the US and Europe, our film follows researchers who are bringing magicians’ tricks into the laboratory.  With impossible magic, amazing facts, and opportunities for viewers to participate in the magic, this extraordinary exploration peeks behind the curtain into a fascinating world where ancient magic meets modern science.

Canadian magician and executive director of the arts organization Magicana, Julie Eng not only mystifies us with magic, she also takes us to Montreal’s McGill University to meet Jay Olson. He is one of the scientists spearheading this novel and powerful approach to experimental psychology.  On the streets of Montreal Julie and Jay use card tricks to help us understand how magic can be used to explore human consciousness. But these simple tricks have given way to more elaborate experiments.

Read more and listen to podcast.

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.




15 March 2018

Random thoughts about "The Science of Magic" on CBC's "The Nature of Things"

Updated at 9:30am to add links to: 

"The Science of Magic" boasts an extraordinary list of participants, which include: Julie Eng, Ronald Rensink, Jay Olson, Gustav Kuhn, Anthony Barnhart, Amory Danek, Matthew Tompkins, Thomas Strandberg, Billy Kidd, Tom Stone, Thomas Fraps, Pit Hartling, and Juan Tamariz.
Had I known it was possible to do university level research involving the magician's force, mind-reading MRIs, or magic beans*, I may have reconsidered the focus of my post-secondary education.

I am, however, on the ball enough to jump at a chance to take an advance peek at (and ask questions about) "The Science of Magic," a documentary that examines these subjects and more!

Tune in to "The Science of Magic" on CBC’s "The Nature of Things" on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 8PM (8:30 NT). The documentary will also be available to watch online at cbc.ca/natureofthings on Friday, March 16 from 5:00 pm EST.
When Donna and Daniel Zuckerbrot from Reel Time Images (who brought us  "Dai Vernon – The Spirit of Magic," "Max Maven: a fabulous monster," "The Houdini Code,"' and "Jeff McBride: a magickal life" among other titles) realized how much research was going on in the field of science and magic, they knew they had to investigate it further.
 
"You can see that the real question about our film 'The Science of Magic' isn’t why we wanted to make it, but rather, how could we not have?"
-- Donna Zuckerbrot

Julie Eng's reaction to being brought on board the project?
"I was thrilled. I have known the Zuckerbrots for many years and I am a big fan of their work."

  "The idea of using magic as a mechanism for study into how we think, and how we perceive the world is fascinating for me.  It was a huge honour to be asked to be the 'magical guide' for this film."

"Magicians don't have supernatural powers. Instead what they do is exploit very powerful and often very surprising limitations in human cognition."
In "The Science of Magic," the Zuckerbrots along with magical host Julie Eng, take us across Canada, the US, and Europe to visit with scientists using magic as an investigative tool in their exploration of cognition and behaviour.  (Pay close attention to catch cameos by Daniel Zuckerbrot, David Ben, and magic enthusiast Ari.)

The show is full of fascinating insights sure to capture the attention of those who like to be entertained by magic, those who perform magic, as well as those who are interested in psychology and behaviour.  There are even opportunities to participate in on air magic tricks!  From the press release:
"... viewers are able to feel the power of magic from the comfort of their homes and experience some of the psychological principles these tricks reveal (including ‘magicians choice,’ and choice blindness,' ‘failure to see,’ ‘change blindness,’ inattentional blindness, as well as the ‘aha’ moment)."

I'm not too proud to admit that on more than one occasion Julie had me right where she wanted.  I was also properly schooled by Anthony Barnhart.



On the other hand, I did well with Ronald Rensink's challenge and some of the other ones too!

Julie also teaches a coin trick that even I could master, with a little practice.




"We take these principles that magicians know, we bring them into the lab and we try and figure out how they work."
It is humbling (and a bit disconcerting) to discover, as the press release describes, that "we sometimes don't see what's right under our noses," "we see tricks that fool us despite nothing actually happening," and that "we can be blind even to our own choices."

"We were all surprised at how magical the science was. It was astonishing to realize that we don’t see what we think we are seeing, that our memories are as slippery as our perceptions, that who we are — even our deeply held beliefs can change without us knowing. Like good magic the science left us with a feeling of wonder."  
-- the Zuckerbrots


For some behind the scenes photos have a look at the Reel Time Images Facebook page, Instagram account, or Twitter feed.  I look forward to hearing Daniel's thoughts at his Browser's Bash mini-talk.
During the making of the documentary, Julie said she was pleased to learn that "old magic tricks that I have known and have performed since I was a child can still have a deep and profound affect on people, particularly with the right presentation."


There are a variety of real world applications to the knowledge gained:
  • Work on "how small distractions can blind drivers" can help improve driver safety.  ("Driver looked but failed to see" is an actual category of accident!)
Anthony Barnhart's studies showing how "off beats" work across sensory systems, help me better understand my habit of turning off my radio when I'm in a situation that requires my full attention.
  • Suggestion-based treatments have promising uses in the medical field.
  • The Zuckerbrots noted that Rensink's findings with respect to 'change blindness' "seems to underlie film editing.  It is apparently the reason why you don’t notice the change of pictures, from wide shot to close up for example, while you are watching a film."  
  • In addition to psychology benefiting from the insights discovered using magic as an investigative tool, the Zuckerbrots observed that "some magicians believe they have already gained from what they’ve learned from psychologists.  Tom Stone is a great example, he certainly credits work he did with experimental psychologists as having changed his own performance in fundamental ways."
  • Julie posits that "... from learning how intention and actions (movement) can help create smoother technical manipulation, to how it can mask the most technical sleight… is useful."  After all, she continues,
"If we can use science and technology to work out the perfect angle for speed skaters to maximize physics to their advantage, why can we not benefit from learning more about human behaviour and cognition to advance our field?"

"Each of these areas can bring a lot of insights to magicians to heighten the “magic" experience for audiences."


Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know about the show? 

"We hope they find watching it as interesting and as much fun as we did making it." 
-- the Zuckerbrots

"Bring their eyes and ears (and to be prepared to have fun!)"    -- Julie Eng
I certainly had fun learning and I'm sure you will too!  (As the scientific field evolves, I hope they'll film a second part.)

Tune in to "The Science of Magic" on CBC’s "The Nature of Things" on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 8PM (8:30 NT). The documentary will also be available to watch online at cbc.ca/natureofthings on Friday, March 16 from 5:00 pm EST.



--
* Maybe they're really magic. Who knows? **
** With apologies to Stephen Sondheim.







02 March 2018

Watch "The Science of Magic" on CBC’s "The Nature of Things" Sunday, March 18

Edited March 15th to add links to: 


Edited on March 7th to add:

Edited on March 6th to add:
  • Welcome GeniiOnline readers! Watch this space for updates about the show, including any announcements about international viewing opportunities.


Ever since it was first announced, we've been eagerly awaiting the air date of the Reel Time Images' CBC documentary on magic and science, featuring Julie Eng.

I'm delighted to announce that the show is scheduled to air on the CBC’s "The Nature of Things" on Sunday, March 18!

The show boasts an extraordinary list of participants, which include:  Julie Eng, Ronald Rensink, Jay Olson, Gustav Kuhn, Anthony Barnhart, Amory Danek, Matthew Tompkins, Thomas Strandberg, Billy Kidd, Tom Stone, Thomas Fraps, Pit Hartling, and Juan Tamariz.

I can hardly wait!


From “The Science of Magic” press release:
THE SCIENCE OF MAGIC
produced, directed and written by
Donna Zuckerbrot and Daniel Zuckerbrot

With magical guide Julie Eng
Toronto-based magicienne and executive director of Canada’s magical arts organization Magicana

World Broadcast Premiere on CBC’s The Nature of Things
Sunday, March 18, 2018 – 8PM (8:30 NT)


“The scientific community, I believe, can learn a lot about both the principles that magicians use as well the unique experience that magic elicits. By using new tools and scientific theory to understand why these principles work, scientists can really learn about the limits of human cognition.”

•             Gustav Kuhn, Cognitive Psychologist, Goldsmiths University of London



“Magicians and scientists both have learnt that it's our own mysterious consciousness that casts the spell, weaving reality from fleeting impressions. So, even when you don't know it, you are the magician.”

•             Julie Eng, Magicienne, Executive Director Magicana



Reel Time Images is pleased to announce the world broadcast premiere of their new documentary, The Science of Magic. Directed by Donna and Daniel Zuckerbrot, and with magical guide Julie Eng, Toronto-based magicienne and executive director of Canada’s magical arts organization Magicana, The Science of Magic can be seen on CBC’s The Nature of Things on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 8PM (8:30 NT). The documentary will also be available to watch online at cbc.ca/natureofthings on Friday, March 16 from 5:00 pm EST.


Magic has become the latest investigative tool for scientists exploring human cognition, neurobiology, and behaviour.  Across Canada, the US and Europe, The Science of Magic follows researchers and scientists who are bringing magicians’ tricks into the laboratory.   This extraordinary exploration peeks behind the curtain into a fascinating world where ancient magic meets modern science.

Colourful, compelling and interactive, this film takes a critical and engaging look at the fascinating facts revealed when you see the human mind through the eyes of a magician.  With opportunities to participate in on-air magic tricks, viewers are able to feel the power of magic from the comfort of their homes and experience some of the psychological principles these tricks reveal (including ‘magicians choice’, and choice blindness”, 'failure to see’, ‘change blindness’, inattentional blindness, as well as the ‘aha’ moment).

Acting as guide for much of the evening, Julie Eng mystifies with her magical talents, using card tricks to show how magic can be used to explore human consciousness. Alongside these simple tricks are more elaborate scientific experiments.  Jay Olson, a performer of magic since his youth, is completing his PhD in psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal. There, Olson is one of the scientists spearheading a novel and powerful approach to experimental psychology.  At the Montreal Neurological Institute, we join him for an extraordinary demonstration involving an MRI machine that seems not only to read minds, but to also use its electro-magnetic fields to manipulate your most private thoughts.

Professor Ronald Rensink at the University of British Columbia discovered how small distractions can blind drivers to obvious dangers. He believes that magicians’ practical knowledge about how to fool the eye and the mind can fuel important new research in vision science and psychology in general.

In the US professor Anthony Barnhart, a magician turned scientist is using magic principles to investigate why we sometimes don’t see what’s right under our noses. We also meet Professor Amory Danek who is using the conjuror’s craft to study creativity and problem solving. 

In London England Gustav Kuhn conducts a study along with Canadian magician Billy Kidd, that tracks the eye movements of the magician’s audience. We see tricks that fool us despite nothing actually happening, as well as demonstrations that reveal we can be blind even to our own choices.

As surprising as many of these magic tricks are, the ultimate reveal, as Julie tells us just before she vanishes in front of our eyes, is that the true magician is our own brain — weaving reality out of fleeting impressions.



--
THE SCIENCE OF MAGIC - PARTICIPANTS

Julie Eng
http://www.magicienne.com
Born in Victoria BC into a family of magicians, Julie Eng has been appearing on stage from an early age.  Julie has developed a refreshing and distinctive style which combines a mix of elegance, surprise and humour. Besides performing, she is currently the executive director of Canada’ magical arts organization, Magicana which is dedicated to the study, exploration and advancement of magic as a performing art.


Ronald Rensink
https://psych.ubc.ca/persons/ronald-rensink/
Professor Rensink grew up in Whitby, Ontario and has taught at the University of British Columbia (UBC) since 2000. An authority on vision in humans and machines, his seminal paper on “change blindness” has become one of the most cited papers in the field of cognitive psychology. His studies of perception and consciousness have led him to work with magicians. He believes that magicians’ practical knowledge about how to fool the eye and the mind, can fuel important new research in vision science and psychology in general.


Jay Olson
https://www.jayolson.org
A performer of magic since his youth, Jay is currently completing his PhD in psychiatry at McGill University. Jay Olsen is looking at how magic, deception and suggestion can be used to create new methods in psychology. His studies show how magicians influence their audience and how people can be deceived into believing a machine is controlling their mind. His current work is on the potential use of machines as placebos.


Gustav Kuhn
https://www.gold.ac.uk/psychology/staff/kuhn/
Dr. Kuhn is a cognitive psychologist at Goldsmiths University of London. He went to England originally to perform magic and ended up staying and studying psychology. He is one of the founders of The Society of Magic Association (SOMA), and uses the methods of magic to study a range of questions about how we perceive and think about the world. His research focuses on magic, and explores how magicians allow people to experience the impossible.


Anthony Barnhart
https://www.carthage.edu/live/profiles/1492-anthony-barnhart
Dr. Barnhart is a professor of psychology at Carthage College in Kenosha. Wisconsin. His many years as a magician inform his studies of how our attention is misled in daily life. His research explores the wealth of principles used by magicians, but still unknown to psychology.


Amory Danek
http://www.amorydanek.de
Dr. Danek is associated with the psychology department at the University of Heidelberg. Her research using magic (with the cooperation of magician Thomas Fraps) is focused on insight. Her current research is aimed at disentangling the various ways of thinking and feeling that together make up the “aha experience”. Another aspect of her research involving magic uses behavioural and neuroimaging experiments. This work is centred on identify brain regions that come into play when our expectations are violated (e.g. something mysteriously appears, disappears, or acts contrary to what normally happens).


Matthew Tompkins
https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/team/matthew-tompkins
Matt Tompkins a part-time professional magician since he was 14 is currently the Jr. Dean at the Queen’s College Oxford University where he is a doctoral student in the department of Experimental Psychology. He uses his knowledge of magical techniques to investigate the interplay between attention, illusions and beliefs.


Thomas Strandberg
http://www.lucs.lu.se/choice-blindness-group/
Thomas Strandberg currently does research in the cognitive sciences at Sweden’s Lund University.He is affiliated with the Choice Blindness Laboratory. They use a variety of methods, including magicians’ tricks to study how our preferences, attitudes and choices change with the feedback we receive about them.


Billy Kidd
http://www.billykiddshow.com
Billy Kidd has been an actor in theatre, film, and television since she was 11. Her career as a magician began when, after graduating from the University of Alberta’s theatre program, she happened to see a magician busking on the streets in Edmonton. Here fascination with magic and especially street magic eventually led to international TV appearances and performances all over the world.


Tom Stone
Tom Stone is the stage name of Swedish magician, editor and author Thomas Bengtsson. One of Scandinavia’s foremost magicians, he is rarely to be found at home in Stockholm, Sweden. He spends a great deal of time traveling the world performing and lecturing. His books on magic, and creativity are considered modern classics by many of his fellow magicians.


Thomas Fraps
http://www.thomasfraps.com/english/index_e.html
A former student of physics, Thomas Fraps is an award-winning professional magician whose performances combine illusion, comedy and science. He has worked with a number of scientists including with Professor Amory Danek for whose experiments in problem solving he designed and performed a wide variety of magic tricks.


Pit Hartling
http://pithartling.de/en/
An extremely popular performer not only in his home of Germany but throughout the world. The author of two acclaimed books for magicians Hartling is as much in demand as a lecturer and teacher of magic as he is as an entertainer.


Juan Tamariz
Born in 1942 Juan Tamariz-Martel Negrón in  Madrid, Spain he is known professionally as Juan Tamariz or simply as Tamariz. He is regarded as a national treasure in Spain, and an international treasure by his fans around the world. Based on his encyclopediac knowledge, his skill and creativity Tamariz is recognized by most of the world’s magical greats as the greatest magician alive.

--
The Science of Magic is produced, directed and written by Donna Zuckerbrot and Daniel Zuckerbrot.  It is produced by Reel Time Images in association with CBC, with the Participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit, and the Ontario Tax Credit.









09 January 2018

2017 Readers' Choice award results

Thank you all for participating in the spirit in which the awards were intended:  a fun way to recognize and celebrate all of the fabulous talent in our country.

One hundred and seven votes were cast in this "bragging rights" only contest.  This year there was an option to add a comment to your vote.  My favourite comment?  "I hope no one can see I voted for myself..."  (Bonus points to you if you can guess who wrote that.)

Here are the results of our second annual  "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!

Beacons of Inspiration (in alphabetical order by surname)


2017 Beacon of Inspiration: Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown
Nominated by dmdlfyer.

It is clear from his multiple nominations that Ryan has worked hard to get this far in his career.  He is an inspiration to the students at his alma mater.   Ryan continues to stretch himself by seeking opportunities to learn with and from world class magicians.

Website: RyanBrownMagic.com




2017 Beacon of Inspiration: Neil Croswell

Neil Croswell
Nominated by Anonymous.

In 2017, Neil appeared on "Masters of Illusion" and performed across Asia which helped raise money for charitable causes in Sri Lanka.

Neil's Asia appearances include the "Knights of Illusion" magic show held in Colombo, Sri Lanka alongside Michael Finney and Xavier Mortimer.  He also performed 32 stage shows in Beijing, China at the annual "Happy Valley International Magic Festival."  This year, Neil performed over 300 shows across five countries.


Website: NeilCroswellMagic.com



Caiden Finch (12 yo)
Nominated by Phil Matlin.

Caiden was the youngest nominee in 2017.  It is clear to me that he is on a similar trajectory as the others nominated this year.  He is a hard worker, who actively seeks out feedback, and implements advice received.  I had the pleasure of meeting Caiden at Sorcerers Safari in 2016.  I have no doubt we'll continue to hear wonderful things about him as the years progress!

Website:



2017 Beacon of Inspiration: Murray and Teresa Hatfield

Murray and Teresa Hatfield
Nominated by The Magic Demon.

The Hatfields had another amazing year! Murray and Teresa Hatfield starred in and produced their second ever extraordinary magic and illusions-filled phantasmagoria "Unbelievable" at this summer's PNE in Vancouver. It was again one of the the most inspiring and entertaining stadium-scale magical events Vancouver has ever seen.

Additionally, Murray and Teresa amazed on season 4 of Penn and Teller Fool Us this year where Penn said of their performance "I haven't seen a better version of Metamorphosis ever." Murray is also the President of the Canadian Association of Magicians.


Website: MurrayHatfieldMagic.com




Editor's Choice


2017 Editor's Choice: Julie Eng
Julie Eng
Nominated by James Alan.

Along with running programs such as "Senior Sorcery" and "My Magic Hands," in 2017 Julie was also a major driving force behind the publication of "The Magic of Johnny Thompson," Magic Live (as performer, presenter, and host), Magicana's Magic Collectors Weekend, Magicana's A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities (as publisher, project manager) and the CBC's show Magic and Science.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it all!

Somehow, while doing all of that, Julie still found time to be the Executive Director at Magicana.


Website: magicienne.com



Readers' Choice

2017 Winner: Benzi Train
Benzi Train
Nominated by Ari.

Congratulations to Benzi for winning the 2017 Readers' Choice award!

Keep up your great work with the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club, Newest Trick in the Book and Toronto Magic Company!













09 December 2017

Vote now for the 2017 Readers' Choice award

Reader's Choice logo 
The nominations are closed and voting is now open for the 2017 "Readers' Choice Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year" award!  Voting will close on Saturday, December the 23rd at 11:59pm EST.

To vote, scroll down to the bottom of this post and participate in the poll.  (Unfortunately, the poll does not appear in the mobile version of the site.)

Let's have a look at the nominees (in no particular order):


2017 Nominee: Caiden Finch
Caiden Finch (12 yo)
Nominated by Phil Matlin.
"He has performed on stage for paying audience and I might say he was great. His magic was excellent. He was dressed for the occasion. He had a themed routine and what I really liked was that came in [to Perfect Magic] about week before the show and asked for some advice. I talked, he listened and implemented 95% of it in his show."

I had the pleasure of meeting Caiden at Sorcerers Safari in 2016.  He's a fine young man with a bright future ahead of him!

Website:



2017 Nominee: Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown
Nominated by dmdlfyer.
"Ryan started performing magic very early in school. While he was in my class, he would bargain his work completion in order to go to the kindergarten class and perform his latest trick. He continued to perform and cam back several years to perform free at our school's fun fair. True school and community spirit. Ryan has inspired many of the students to believe in their dream and to work hard to achieve it. He continues to seek advancement in his craft by seeking peer help and taking classes taught by more experienced magicians. In 2017 Ryan performed at Screemers at Exhibition Place Toronto in October. Great show Ryan!!  Increased his knowledge of magic by taking classes in Las Vegas with the master of masks and magical knowledge, Jeff McBride earlier this year."


"Ryan Brown is an example of a young man who knew what he wanted to accomplish, kept focused under difficult conditions, and has achieved it - a life in magic. Not only is he talented, he is a joy to work with, both personally and professionally. My agency had the pleasure of mentoring and booking Ryan from early in his career. He takes his magic very seriously, and is constantly working to raise the bar on his show and learn from others. He is worthy of an award."


"The magic or Ryan Brown. I have known Ryan for many years and not only is he a close friend but amazing magician who is dedicating his life to magic and works extremely hard so he definitely deserves an award."


"I'd like to nominate Ryan Brown ("The Magic of Ryan Brown"). I've known Ryan since he was a youth and was shown his first magic tricks. From that point on, Ryan became dedicated to learning the craft, and perfecting tricks and routines. He recently won a scholarship to an exclusive magic school in Las Vegas where he had opportunity to perfect his craft further. Ryan creates routines to amaze his audiences with thought to ages he he performing in front of. He continues to create illusions himself. Seeing a performance by Ryan is nothing short of amazing. "


"I second all these nominations of Ryan. I have worked with as his assistant. And he is always improving and raising the bar, trying and accomplishing new tricks and striving to be the best magician he can be. "


"I nominate Ryan Brown because having known him since he was 15, I have seen him hold fast to his dream of being a professional magician in the face of having his mother suffer a devastating illness when Ryan was age 11.

As a result Ryan had to grow up in a blue collar single parent household in a low income area, having to overcome many obstacles in order to be where he is today."


"Many years ago, I gave Ryan Brown his first opportunity to perform professionally. Seeing his accomplishments to date astounds me, just like his magic does.

Ryan continues to diversify his act. In 2017 he added new stage illusions and executed them flawlessly in his own style. As Ryan moves to the next phase of his career, I can't help but be inspired by his daily dedication to the craft of magic. New wardrobe, new card manipulation, new stage illusions, he's been hard at work this year.

On a personal level, 2017 was an extra challenging year for Ryan, with the passing of his father. Ryan's first performance on a Las Vegas stage this past September would have made him very proud.

It is for these reasons that I nominate Ryan Brown for "Inspirational Canadian Magician of the Year"."


Website: RyanBrownMagic.com




2017 Nominee: Neil Croswell

Neil Croswell
Nominated by Anonymous.
"I would like to nominate Neil Croswell. I have watched Neil devote his life to magic from a young age and he has stuck to his vision from day one. His determination and work ethic over the years make him an inspiration as well as his countless awards and international TV appearances (Fool Us, etc.). In 2017, he appeared on "Masters of Illusion" , completed 250+ shows on a cruise in the Bahamas, and performed internationally across Asia which helped raise money for charitable causes in Sri Lanka. To accomplish what he has at his age, I believe, is an inspiration to Canadian magicians with goals of a professional career. "

Neil's Asia appearances include the "Knights of Illusion" magic show held in Colombo, Sri Lanka alongside Michael Finney and Xavier Mortimer.  He also performed 32 stage shows in Beijing, China at the annual "Happy Valley International Magic Festival."  This year, Neil performed over 300 shows across five countries.


Website: NeilCroswellMagic.com



 

2017 Nominee: Julie Eng
Julie Eng
Nominated by James Alan.

Along with running programs such as "Senior Sorcery" and "My Magic Hands," this year Julie has had a few other things on the go!
 

"The Magic of Johnny Thompson": Julie has been project managing the production and publication of "The Magic of Johnny Thompson." Her roles include: photographer, photo editor, and editor.

Magic Live - performer, presenter, and host: Julie was invited back (for the third time since 2015!) to co-host all the general sessions with Jonathan Levit. Sometimes hosting meant interviewing interesting magic characters, like the one-and-only David Williamson, or being part of something like a “show and tell” with Levent (where he talked about 3D printing).

Magicana - Magic Collectors Weekend - producer, host, project manager:  As part of Magicana, Julie staged and produced a Magic History Conference called the Magic Collectors Weekend in Montreal (first time out of the USA).  It coincided with the opening of Illusions: The Art of Magic poster exhibition featuring some of the top-drawer posters from the newly acquired Allan Slaight Collection of posters.

Magicana - A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities -  publisher, project manager: This year, Julie also worked closely with Dr. Eddie Dawes and his family to start the process of publishing the historical series A Rich Cabinet of Curiosities (published in the Magic Circle’s organ the Magic Circular). Magicana will produce and release Dr Dawes's collected monthly series in an epic, multi-volume compendium spanning forty years, of over 450 articles. The first volume is now in the works and with hopes of getting an edition out by the late fall of 2018 or perhaps early 2019.

Magic and Science - performer, host, presenter: Julie was included as part of the Magic and Science special, one-hour documentary for CBC’s "The Nature of Things: which will air sometime in the early part of 2018. Julie acts as “host” and helps to link the segments together, performing a bit of magic along the way. This is Julie's first major television piece.

Somehow, while doing all of that, Julie still found time to be the Executive Director at Magicana.


Website: magicienne.com




2017 Nominee: Murray and Teresa Hatfield

Murray and Teresa Hatfield
Nominated by The Magic Demon.
"The Magic Demon nominates Murray and Teresa Hatfield for starring in and producing their second ever extraordinary magic and illusions-filled phantasmagoria "Unbelievable" at this summer's PNE in Vancouver. For the second year in a row, it was again one of the the most inspiring and entertaining stadium-scale magical events Vancouver has ever seen."

In addition, Murray and Teresa amazed on season 4 of Penn and Teller Fool Us this year where Penn said of their performance "I haven't seen a better version of Metamorphosis ever." Murray is also the President of the Canadian Association of Magicians.


Website: MurrayHatfieldMagic.com



 

2017 Nominee: Benzi Train
Benzi Train
Nominated by Ari.
"I nominate Benzi Train because of his tireless work over the years to promote the performance of live magic in Toronto and his efforts at the Sid Lorraine Hat & Rabbit Club and bringing in of top quality lecturers to our community. His (and partner Jonah Babbins) show Newest Trick in the Book gives any magician a venue/opportunity to perform in front of a live audience. He has inspired many magicians to challenge themselves creatively or to even perform live."


Supporting information from Steven Lafond:
"I second the nomination for Ben Train for his incredible work with the Toronto Magic Company. He is an amazing performer and producer and has worked very hard to keep magic alive in the Toronto performing arts scene."


Supporting information from Natasha:
"I’m nominating Ben Train for all the work he’s done for the Toronto magic community. Besides becoming one of the most popular performers in the city, Ben also founded the Toronto Magic Company and produces different magic shows every week across the city. Whether working with aspiring young magicians to give them the confidence to go on stage, provide professionals with new opportunities to share their magic, or bringing the best magic in the world to Toronto for public shows and lectures, there isn’t anyone in the city doing more for magic than Ben."


Website: BenTrain.ca




Cast your vote now at Poll Junkie!





















20 July 2017

Magic and science in CBC's "The Nature of Things"

From Julie Eng'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.




22 November 2016

Julie Eng on the cover of Genii

Congratulations Julie!


From Richard Kaufman's Facebook page:
This issue our cover is adorned by the remarkable Julie Eng. Lest. As the author of our piece, David Ben, aptly points out, not only is Julie a beloved figure and an accomplished magicienne, she also possesses the near superhuman ability to get almost anything that comes her way DONE. Yes, all caps for emphasis. She does much good work for kids, seniors, and behind-the-scenes good deeds for magicians that goes unheralded—but the word is now officially out. 




18 August 2015

Summer magic

Julie Eng does tremendous things with Magicana's My Magic Hands programme.

From Sharing Wonder:
Today's Big Show at Holland Bloorview wraps up the last of three simultaneous sessions we had been running at the hospital. We worked in partnership with Hands2Hands and Helping Hands; and hosted a full session of My Magic Hands. We had 27 clients participate with nearly 1:1 magic coach support! Needless to say these kids blossomed beautifully with such encouragement. We are so fortunate to work with such dedicated staff and volunteers at Holland Bloorview.

Even though each program and client had a wide range of goals, we were pleased to see so many kids not only achieve their goals but to also discover new skills they didn’t realize they even possessed! There is power inside that kind of self-confidence and self-esteem - and we find it simply inspiring.

Read more.

15 August 2015

Relaunching "Everything Erndase"

From Julie Eng's Facebook page:

Super excited to announce the relaunch of "Everything Erndase" www.everythingerdnase.com Had a lot of fun revisiting...
Posted by Julie Eng on Monday, 3 August 2015


22 February 2015

The Story of the Blaney Ladder Levitation

A little bird from the IBM head office told me that Walter Blaney turned 87 on February 11th.  If you haven't already, send him a happy birthday e-mail  (Walter AT walterblaney DOT com)!

In the video below, Peter Reveen speaks about the illusion, and if I'm not mistaken, Julie Eng has a cameo as well!

From the Walter Zaney Blaney YouTube channel:
The history of the famous Ladder Levitation Illusion as told by Walter Blaney himself. Guest appearance by David Copperfield, Lance Burton, James Dimmare, Jeff McBride, Peter Reveen, Steve Dacri and Stan Allen. A chapter in the documentary series Still Zaney After All These Years.





[via Carey Lauder and Ryan Joyce]


04 January 2014

Magic and rehab help transform kids with disabilities

From The Star:
Presto! Change-o! Magic is all about transformation.

We are mesmerized by what we cannot explain, enthralled when hands deceive our eyes.

So it was on a recent afternoon in a compact auditorium that’s part of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and was filled with an audience of 50 facility staff, clients, friends and family of the small performers who individually sat in front of the proverbial magician’s table with black cloth and fringe.

Read more.