This is Pop’s latest video post. It’s from his Halloween Week performance at the Magic Castle. You can catch his blog at pophaydn.wordpress.com. Once again, as much as a great magician, he’s a great performer. Hell, even without watching his tricks, I can listen to the patter and laugh.
Korean magician Eun Gyeol Lee (www.magicunlimited.com/international-artists/eun-gyeol-lee-kor) has won multiple international magic awards, including two FISM awards (awarded in 2003 for Manipulation and 2006 for General Magic). This is the act he won with at FISM in 2006. The pace is fast and impressive and the amount of magic he packs into his routine just blows me away.
Ukrainian magician Viktor Voitko (www.magic-voitko.com) is an international award winner. His “Flying Linking Rings” routine won him a FISM in 1994. Beautiful presentation combining levitation and ring manipulation. When watching Linking Ring routines, I’m usually pulling the pieces apart of the routine in my mind, but this is one of those instances that I just have to sit back and enjoy the magic.
In 2009, Japanese magician Yo Kato won first place at the Beijing FISM for Manipulation. Here is his Wand Manipulation routine, and it is as fun as it is impressive. There’s some clearer footage from French television, but I’ve gone with this footage because the “Le Plus Grand Cabaret du monde” footage just has too much in the way of audience reaction shots. I mean, seriously, we can hear the audience applause. We don’t need to see them. Leave the camera shots on the magician.
The Coney Island Fakir himself, Al Flosso (1895 – 1976). He has been mentioned by many magicians as one of their inspirations. This is the best footage I have been able to find of him, and most prominent in this routine is his performance of “The Miser’s Dream.” I have another take on this routine on deck for a later Dose, but the way he keeps the routine rolling and pretty much works over the boy from the crowd is stellar. It’s the beauty of seeing an old vaudevillian at work. Flosso was one of the greats.
In 1994, Penn & Teller (www.pennandteller.com) had a BBC show, “The Unpleasant World of Penn & Teller.” In this trick, using cards and a water chamber, they perform what should be a typical card trick for John Cleese. They’ve performed this trick many time in their stage act, but adding the extra layer of John Cleese to it just sends me into a minor geekgasm. Having notable guests on stage may be a bit of stunt-casting, but when it’s the right person, well, it’s just right.
At long last, I now own a spring animal rabbit. (Those of you familiar with Rocky the Raccoon know what I’m talking about.) Yes, I’m now anxious to work out my own Rabbit from the Hat routine, and though I’m not going to reproduce Paul Daniels’ routine, it certainly is an inspiration. Paul, to me, is always as funny as he is brilliant. Sadly, he never made as much of a name for himself on this side of the pond as he did in Great Britain. Our loss, but at least there’s YouTube.
I’ve been reworking my routine with the Linking Rings. For me, at this point, I like using the rings in more of a comedy setting. One of my favorite routines for this is from Whit “Pop” Haydn (www.pophaydn.com). When he took on the Pop Haydn stage persona, Pop went from being a great magician to a great showman. I may have posted a link to this earlier on in Facebook, but in this blog venue, it is certainly worth revisiting. In my case, visiting over and over.
Gary ‘Gazzo’ Osbourne (www.gazzoshow.com) is probably the current King of Busking Magicians. From performing all over the world to getting kicked out of the Magic Castle for being too belligerent with the audience, he’s great to watch. Many street magicians have adopted his Cups and Balls routine, even going pretty much word for word with the patter. This was his appearance on “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” and Penn’s compliment at the end was about the best honor they could bestow on him. Gazzo’s act on the street is over 24 minutes, but he shortened it up for the show (also, he doesn’t play around as much with the crowd as when he’s working the streets). This is, though, the best footage I know of of his act.