OK, it may be a serious misnomer calling it the Spring Parade of Magic, but a great show of magic performances will be held on Saturday February 15, 2014 at the Kirkwood Community Center, located at 111 S Geyer Rd, Kirkwood, MO. Show times 2 and 7 pm, but when the doors open an hour before showtimes, close-up magic will be performed in the lobby. I’ll be part of the lobby close-up team, along with my friend Cameron Jones (the youngest magician in Ring 1) and the great Harry Monti. Main stage performers will be Terry Richison (magicofterryrich.com), Steve Barcellona (stevebarcellona.com), Marty Kopp (martinkopp.com), and Mike Niehaus (mikeniehaus.com), and the show emcee will be the IBM International President, Bill Evans. Admission is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.
The Six Card Repeat is a classic of magic, and most magicians are familiar with the trick and what’s almost become a standard routine of magic storytelling. Then again, today’s Dose is from Pop Haydn, so expect things to be turned a bit on their ear. Pop turns this classic into a presentation of The Magician in Trouble plot, and for a routine that can seem tired in the wrong hands, it’s just fun to watch Pop stumble through. Pop posted this on his blog at (pophaydn.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/the-six-card-trick/) a few days ago. Yeah, I definitely prefer this to the usual routine I see, and it’s one more reason I’m a fan.
I had posted this on Facebook before I started this blog, but oddly enough, Boris Wild’s (www.boriswild.com) “The Butterfly Act,” was my first Daily Dose post (jasonstackmagician.com/?p=37). “The Butterfly Act” is a small vignette that depicts loss, albeit in a beautiful way, but “The Kiss Act,” which Boris won a FISM award for in Close-Up magic, depicts love in its earliest stages. Currently, one of my mentors in life is struggling in an ICU, and I’ve been to sit with him and his wife, another of my mentors and a second mother to me. The two of them have been models to me of a beautiful relationship and marriage, and after 30 years of being married, even though their love has always been deep, it has always seemed to be constantly renewing, which brought this to mind for tonight’s post. The act is to George Michael’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s “They Won’t Go When I Go” and is about new love. Doc and Lex, my deepest love and thanks to you for all you’ve shown and brought into my life.
Richard Ross (1946 – 2001) was an amazing talent and two-time FISM award winner. In the magic community, his Linking Ring routine (also in this video) is considered one of the most beautiful presentations of the rings. This video also includes Richard’s other signature effect, The Multiplying Watches, and is a study in the artistry that he applied to his magic.
Shawn Farquhar (www.magichampion.com) re-posted this yesterday, and it is a fun piece of magic. This was filmed some years ago for Toronto’s “Breakfast Television,” and I saw this recording on his DVD lecture notes “Bread and Butter.” I said it before when mentioning Shawn, but it is the sense of play combined with such beautiful slight of hand that makes him such a great performer to watch. That comment alone feels weird to write, especially when the beauty in sleight of hand is in what you don’t see. I guess the only other area I think of like it is diving, where the smaller the splash (the less you see), the better the performance.
Don Alan’s (1926-1999) style was relaxed, yet charming. Many of his tricks and routines have been copied, imitated, and adapted over the years and many performers owe a lot to what he brought to the magic world, both in style and technique. This is from the 1960’s, and though I’ve not been able to verify it, I believe it is from “Don Alan’s Magic Ranch,” although if somebody is able to confirm this one way or the other, I’d love the input. Jon Racherbaumer’s book, “In a Class By Himself: The Legacy of Don Alan,” is a great read about the man and his work and is always at hand for me as I’m looking to develop a trick. His timing and patter are as much a science as an art.
Scottish magician Alex Elmsley (1929-2006) was one of the modern greats. His delivery was beautiful in its mastery and if you have the chance to view any of his instructional videos, you will see something even more brilliant. I say this because I’ve watched some of his videos (in this case, “The Magic of Alex Elmsley: The Tahoe Sessions”) at work (during a lunch break, mind you) with headphones on, and while I got everything from his instructions, my co-worker could watch over my shoulder and still, with no sound, not get what Elmsley was doing. Just. Brilliant. A move that Elmsley developed, originally called the Ghost Count, was renamed the Elmsley Count in honor of the man, and it’s a staple in many, if not most, magician’s arsenal today.
I’ve mentioned Shawn Farquhar (www.magichampion.com) a few times before in this blog, but I just realized, even though I may have posted links to some of his routines on Facebook, I haven’t had any of his performances as a Daily Dose. This is one of his signature pieces, “Shape of My Heart,” and it is one of my favorite card magic performances. He used it as the finale to his performance at the 2013 IBM Ring 1 President’s Banquet, and it was a perfect closer to the show.
My inlaws live in Fort Wayne, IN, home of Stoner’s Funstore (stoners.com), owned by magician Dick Stoner (dickstoner.com) and his wife, De. Knowing full well that one of the gifts I would get for Christmas was a gift certificate to Stoner’s, I had a list in mind of what I might walk out of the shop with on our visit, but more importantly, I looked forward to meeting another outstanding magician. Dick was a regular on the Statler Brothers’ television show and on the Nashville Network and was great to talk to. My favorite trick being the Chinese Linking Rings, I loved having him show me his routine in person and watching videos with him of some of his past performances. As rights to most of his performances are held by the networks involved, what can mainly be found online are the videos he shot demonstrating many of the tricks he sells in his shop, so you lose out in the audience reaction (the televised performances can be found on his two DVDs he has out, though). This, though, is one of the tricks that was at the top of my list, and if I get this routine as smooth as Dick, I will consider it a point of pride in my development. What was a bonus in getting the trick was Dick printing out a copy of his routine to use. This is not a routine I’ll use busking, but it will be great to use in stage and parlor performances.
Jerry Andrus (1918-2007, jerryandrus.org) was a master at close-up magic. Of all the memberships at the Magic Castle, his was #306 and performed bi-annually there. Today’s dose is a large one. It’s his complete act in the Close-Up Room done in 1998 when he was 80 years old. It’s not a quick bit to follow, so settle in a bit before you watch it. Jerry was self-taught in magic and many of his moves were adopted by other notable magicians. Watching this is watching something very special in the world of legerdemain. It is truly watching a master, with all those years and all that experience, at work.