I’m a bit remiss in the fact that, in addition to not posting much, lately, I’ve also shared only one Tommy Wonder video until now. This video, and the other I have posted, are taken from the video collection “Visions of Wonder,” which is a great demonstration of the skill and presentation Tommy brought to the craft. His book set, “The Books of Wonder,” should be a staple in any magicians library for the theory he presents as much as the tricks and routines he documents. This routine is one of his takes on the classic plot of Coins Across. Tommy’s contributions to the magic community are numerous, and the legacy he left is something that is almost more miraculous when you see what goes on behind each routine as much as when you’ve no idea how he did it.
I first became aware of this thanks to Pop Haydn mentioning it in a video lecture, and it’s been on deck for a while. Brother Paul’s (www.brotherpaulmagic.com) “Stupid Bean Trick” is one of those absurdities that is just fun to watch. It gives nothing away to where he’s going with the trick, and his characterization is just great. This one really is a gem.
After yesterday’s Daily Dose featured Ice McDonald, it’s time to link you to another Shawn Farquhar (www.magichampion.com) video that he just posted to his YouTube channel last week. I’ve linked to a couple of his videos before (here and here), and he’s always someone to watch. The fun part of this video is that it was done while goofing around with the Vancouver IBM Ring #92 (The Vancouver Magic Circle) at a restaurant. It’s one more demonstration of how you never know what to expect when Shawn’s involved.
Well, I’ve just waxed fan-boy about Kenrick “Ice” McDonald‘s lecture and magic at the St. Louis IBM Jam, so to restart the Daily Dose, it seemed right to start off with a video of his stage performance from a few years ago on “Masters of Illusion.” Not only is Ice the first African-American President of the Society of American Magicians, but in his presidency over the past year, he did a couple of things that I just outright admire him for: He put a focus on trying to get younger members into the organization, and in each issue of the M-U-M (the SAM member magazine), he put a spotlight on individuals in two categories, members who showed a strong commitment to community service and younger members who show a dedication to the craft. This was the year of “Honoring our Members.”
Ice puts his heart and soul into his magic, and in this video, you see him performing with doves, which is how he initially made his mark on the magic world.
There are very few magicians with the brilliant comedic timing of the late Billy McComb (1922-2006). Watching especially the second clip in this post, I’ve had tears from laughing at the dialogue and his magic is brilliant. Even for knowing the methods involved, his act takes you in and even throws in a few sucker moves so you just don’t know where he’s going to go with his act. And really, when an begins with the line, “I’m wanna speed this along because it’s rice pudding night at the home…” you know you’re going to see something special. Thanks to Pop Haydn for the second link, which is Billy’s act at the Magic Castle. I’ve posted the first link, also, because even though the routine is part of the act in the second, the sound quality is quite a bit better. Do yourself a favor, though, and watch both.
Internationally renowned magician and current star of the Discovery Channel’s “Breaking Magic: The Magic of Science,” Wayne Houchin (waynehouchin.com), is lecturing on Monday, Aug. 11 for IBM Ring 1. He’s developed routines used by David Blaine, Criss Angel, Dynamo, and many others and when he did this lecture tour in Europe, he sold out crowds. Needless to say, this lecture should be one of our best we’ve had. Today’s clip is not as much magic in the prestidigitation sense as much as science in performance. And seriously, shooting lightning bolts? It’s science meets magic out of Dungeons and Dragons, so I’m completely down with that!
I’ve gone back and forth as to whether or not to go to the Don England (www.dmksingle.com) Night Before Workshop that is happening in Springfield, IL at the 2014 Central Illinois Magic Get-together (www.cimgt.org). I started going through articles and YouTube videos, and man, I’m sorry I hesitated. He’ll be lecturing at the convention, but the chance to do a workshop with him in a relaxed and casual atmosphere seems like a good learning opportunity. Of the stuff I read and watched, this was the trick that amused me the most. The videos are all close-up without really any audience involvement (I tend to want to see audience reactions), but getting the feeling of “this is really cool” sold me on wanting to spend more time learning from Don. Most magicians are familiar with a trick called “Card Warp,” but this takes a similar plot and turns it on its ear.
Johnny Thompson (www.tomsoni.com) is one of the contemporary greats in the world of magic. He officially retired at Magic Live! last year, but his legacy is great. He’s influence and been adviser to Penn & Teller, David Blaine, Criss Angel and many others. Some of his effects are in the Smithsonian. One stage, he’s both charming and hysterical, and in interviews and in person, warm with fans and compeers. This video is from an HBO Special from 1977 and his wife and partner, Pamela Hayes, is part of what sets his act apart from so many others.
Jay Marshall (1919-2005) was considered “The Dean of American Magicians.” He was beloved by his peers and is held in high esteem, still, in the magic community. Sit around a group of magicians talking long enough, and his name will inevitably come up. I took out my Chinese Sticks routine because I wasn’t happy with it (I was inspired to do them after watching footage of Roy Benson’s routine), but after watching Jay’s, I think I’m going t o have to put them back in after I revisit and adjust my script a bit. Needless to say, Jay’s charm shines through in this.
Currently, one of the biggest and most exclusive events in close-up magic is going on, and that is Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic. It’s an invitation-only event, and it draws magicians from around the world. Magicians only, spouses and companions are not allowed. Yeah, someday I’ll make it there, and when I do, I look forward to raising a pint with some of the friends I’ve met along this road, and Boris (www.boriswild.com) is chief among those I look forward to seeing there. This video was shot there in 2011 and in it, he does his “ACAAB (Any Card at Any Birthday)” routine.