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-VOLUME: 91 / ISSUE: 2,124 Monday - July 18, 2005-
The International Magic Competition is a joint venture between the Society Of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood Of Magicians. The board of directors for both organizations approved the combined convention on Jul. 7-12, 2008 in New Orleans, LA. The six-day event will feature many of the festivities found at the annual conventions with the main focus being a stage and close-up competition with a $10,000 prize for each. The current organizing committee includes: Brad Jacobs, Joan Caesar, Andy Dallas, Roger Miller, Hank Moorehouse and Obie O'Brien.(7/18)

SchtickThe Gamesters (Douglas Leferovich and Seth Yudof) have teamed up with Joe Trammel (a finalists in Wayne Newton's "The Entertainer") to create a full-evening show titled "Schtick." The show combines the magic and physical comedy of the Gamesters with the pop culture parodies and impressions of Joe Trammel. It includes three dancers and sets from a major studio. The show will premiere on Aug. 8-11 at the Belterra Casino & Resort in Indiana.(7/18)

Michael Finney and his foundation are profiled in a Las Vegas Sun article that reported about his foundation to help children raised "more than $400,000 since its inception." Finney also explained, "I love my magic. It's where I got started, and it's how I got to where I am now,' he says. On the other hand, 'I love doing stand-up comedy. I like just going out there and making people laugh and not even having to distract them with anything other than just my mouth and making them laugh with my mannerisms and my gestures." To read the Jul. 8 article by Lisa Ferguson titled "No illusions: Finney simply out to lend a hand" click: HERE.(7/18)

George SchindlerGeorge Schindler has been voted as the new Dean of the Society Of American Magicians. A New York Sun article quotes Schindler about Jay Marshall "…[He] was the dean of the whole world of magic, not just our S.A.M., so I'm humbled by being selected to succeed him." To read the Jul. 11 article by Gary Shapiro titled "Asbury Park And Other Magic" click: HERE.(7/18)

The annual "Lance Burton & Friend's" show to benefit the Shriners will feature Fielding West, Nathan Burton, Drew & Angela Dicostanzo and Anthony Rais. The show will take place on Sunday Jul. 31 at 5pm at The Lance Burton Theatre in the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. Tickets are $27.50-$35 and are available by phoning: 702-382-5554.(7/18)

Scott Lazar who finished in sixth place at the 2005 World Series Of Poker earning $1.5 million is a magician. The WSOP press release described him as, "…a 42-year-old production assistant for independent films, will occupy seat nine. He was born in Woodmere, NY. and lives in Studio City, Calif. Lazar, who is single and has two boys, is also a professional magician and goes by the nickname 'Magic.'" A MagicTimes search shows him performing at the Magic Castle in 2001 and 2002.(7/18)

Jay Marshall Scholarship FundA Jay Marshall Scholarship Fund has been established by The Three Sheeters Organization of Chicago to help performing arts students attending Prairie State College. A $100+ tax-deductible donation will get a hand painted silk tie bearing an image of Lefty. For more information contact Graham Putnam at FUN, Inc: 773-745-3837.(7/18)

Criss Angel's Mindreak series is previewed in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article that reported, "Criss describes what he does as 'blurring the line between mentalism, illusion and stunts… A lot of what I do is completely real. A lot of it is completely an illusion… What I try to do is blur the lines between both of them and leave it up to the audience to determine what is what.'" To read the Jul. 16 article by Rob Owen titled "'Mindfreak' magician conjures up fascinating stunts for A&E" click: HERE.(7/18)

Albert TamRoger Dreyer's Fantasma Toys receives the "vendor of the year 2004 award" from Toys R Us-Asia for its displays and sales at their Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia locations. Accepting the award was Albert Tam who is Fantasma's Director of Asian Entertainment. Toys R Us-Asia CEO Pieter Schats explained at the award presentation, "A key success factor of Toys R Us is customers enjoying a unique shopping environment that our competitors cannot match. A significant element of this positioning is having merchandise that makes TRU different and also engages our customers in a great fun filled in store experience. Fantasma helps Toys R Us meet this goal with it's wide range of exclusive magic merchandise and it's use of fully trained magicians to demo the product in store."(7/18)

The winners at the International Brotherhood of Magicians annual convention competitions are: Arthur Trace (Gold Medal Award, First Place Stage and People's Choice Award), Dan Sperry (Second Place Stage), Ivan Amodei (First Place Close-Up), Jason Michaels (Second Place Close-Up), Chow Man Chung (FFFF Peoples Choice Award), Aaron Rabkin (First Place Youth Close-Up), J.P. Wilson (Second Place Youth Close-Up), Farrah Siegel (First Place Youth Stage) and Michael Platt (Second Place Youth Stage).(7/18)

Arthur Trace photo by  Mona S. MorrisonArthur Trace who recently won the Gold Medal award at the IBM Convention is featured in a Courier News article that described his act, "…it involves an abstract painting from which Trace tears off pieces of the canvas that transform into three dimensions and change color. He puts shapes back into the painting, too, and the artwork reveals itself to be an abstract portrait of Trace himself." To read the Jul. 9 article by Mike Danahey titled "No sleight of hand: Streamwood magician brings home the gold" click: HERE.(7/18)

The winners at the Society of American Magicians annual convention competitions are: Close-Up: Ivan Amodei (First place and Silver Medal), Jason Michaels (Second Place). Stage: Danny Alan (First place and Silver Medal), Tony Chapek (Second Place). Special awards presented include: Cory Bragar (Originality Close-Up), Tony Chapek (Originality Stage), Jane Huang (Mystic Craig Award), Danny Alan (Hofsinzer Award for Classic Magic), Danny Alan (Japanese Award Stage), Eric Scott (Japanese Award Close-Up), Tony Chapek (People's Choice Award Stage), Ivan Amodei (People's Choice Award Close-Up), Cory Bragar (Genii Award for Close-Up), and Danny Alan (Genii Award for Stage Magic). Also presented were the annual Milbourne Christopher Awards: Shimshi (Newcomer), Jon Racherbaumer (Literary Award), Tim Conover (Mentalist Award), George Schindler (Lifetime Achievement) and John & Tammy Calvert (Masters Award).(7/18)

The new play "The Mystery of Chung Ling Soo" which opens at the C venues in Edinburgh this August is the subject of a Scotsman article that quotes it's creator Adam Koplan, "Today, Soo's story stands as a cautionary tale for magicians… After the illusionist Roy Horn - of Siegfried and Roy - was mauled recently, Soo's story was for ever being recounted as the iconic example of the risks and dangers of performing magic." To read the Jul. 10 article by Jackie McGlone titled "Mystery of the magician who spent his life dodging bullets" click: HERE.(7/18)

Norm and Lupe NielsenNorm and Lupe Nielsen receive the 2005 Dragon Award from The J. Marberger Stuart Foundation, Inc. on Jul. 2 at the IBM Convention in Reno, Nevada. The annual award is presented in recognition of outstanding teamwork in the art of magic.(7/18)

Bruce Averbook is featured in a Plain Dealer story about his magic and career as a surgeon. The article quotes Darwin Ortiz about the magic, "He realizes that if you collect stamps, you can take any attitude you want. But if your hobby affects other people -- in this case, your audiences -- you have a responsibility to take it seriously… Bruce has always worked hard as a magician. He puts in serious practice time from one lesson to the next. Anyone who has a chance to see him perform will be entertained rather than just having to endure an amateurish job." To read the Jul. 1 article by Michael K. McIntyre titled "Doctor's magic works like medicine" click: HERE.(7/18)

Jim SistiJim and Sandy Sisti are featured in a Voices News story about their recent shows at the Lakeside Theatre stage at the Quassy Amusement Park. Sisti is described as, "A master of his trade, the 48-year-old Connecticut native walks out from backstage with a hearty 'good afternoon,' which immediately settles the anxious audience down….He is soon joined by his wife, Sandy, as she carries out the first props to start their comedy-magic show." The article also reported, "Today, Jim Sisti considers himself a 'general practitioner of magic.' …Like anything, there are multiple income streams,' he said. 'I do children, adult, standup and strolling magic shows." Sisti also reminisces about Dan Tzukalas. To read the Jun. 29 article by Ron Gustafson titled "Magic Takes Center Stage at Quassy" click: HERE.(7/18)

Sheldon Casavant has been booked to appear at the New Akao Hotel in Atami, Japan from Jul. 16-Dec. 25 where he is scheduled to perform his illusion show 2-3 per day at the resort.(7/18)

Jules Fisher is featured in a Playbill article about his career and association with his partner Peggy Eisenhauer. Fisher explained that the appeal to his career as an award winning lighting designer… "is that you can manipulate a medium we live with -- light -- and reveal a story. You can take a picture or a stage setting or two actors and dialogue, and you add light, which can come from all different directions, and somehow you make the story come alive." He also explained that, "I was an amateur magician, and that introduced me to the glamour of theatre." To read the Jun. 23 article by Mervyn Rothstein titled "A Life in the Theatre: Lighting Designers Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer" click: HERE.(7/18)

The Society of American Magicians Magic Endowment Fund has announced it's recipients in the annual scholarship awards, which include tuition and travel expenses to a magic camp. This year's winners are: James (Nolan) McMahon and Kayla Lee Drescher who will attend Tannen’s Magic Camp and David Shack who will go to the Sorcerer’s Summer Safari.(7/18)

Scenes from Criss Angel's new weekly television series
Mindfreak which airs on Wednesdays at 10pm on A&E.

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