MT: April 9-15, 2001

VOLUME: 40 / ISSUE: 1,197 / Monday – April 9, 2001
James Randi states the nonbeliever side of the “Crossing Over… Or Crossing The Line?” feature in the Apr. 7-13 issue of TV Guide. Randi takes to task the controversial John Edward who has become a very popular psychic that regularly “communicates” with the dead during his TV shows. The thrust of the debunking is done through an analysis of a segment of an Edward reading where Randi pointed out the wide ranges of guesses and how Edward zeroes in on information. He also explained, without making the connection, some magicians’ cold reading techniques which Edward regularly uses. Celebrities such as Anne Rice, Linda Dano and Sebastian Bach are among his followers. Randi concludes that what Edward does is “…a cruel hoax for profit. It preys upon the vulnerable and exploits the grieving.”(4/9)

John Apperson performs a free show for children, as part of the Southwestern Illinois College Granite City Campus’ Kids Series, on Apr. 10 at 7pm at the SWIC Granite City Campus (4950 Maryville Road). For more information phone: 931-0600, ext. 6642.(4/9)
VOLUME: 40 / ISSUE: 1,198 / Tuesday – April 10, 2001
David Copperfield will be bringing his new live show, “Portal,” to Hong Kong in July and his Tornado Of Fire special will air there on ATV on Apr. 29 at 8:30pm. He has already begun promoting the two events through videoconferencing and satellite links. A Hong Kong iMail story described the new kinder gentler Copperfield, “Gone in a puff of smoke was the black-clad scary guy of years past who glowered ominously from publicity shots. …Asked about the image change, he joked dead-pan: ‘I’m still evil, and I’m gonna kill you.'” To read the Apr. 10 story by Vanessa Gould titled “If looks are deceiving, then David Copperfield is set to weave a spell” click: HERE.(4/10)

David Blaine’s stunt at the Good Morning America’s streetside studio last November received so much publicity they are planning on making it a regular segment of the show with all types of performers and crafts. To read the Apr. 9 USA Today story by Peter Johnson titled “Inside TV” click: HERE.(4/10)

Marco Tempest performed in the opening ceremonies of the General Services Administration/Federal Technology Service Network Services Conference 2001 last week in Las Vegas. The theme of the conference was “Experience the Magic.” To read the Apr. 9 FCW story by Dan Caterinicchia titled “Smoke and Mirrors” click: HERE.(4/10)
VOLUME: 40 / ISSUE: 1,199 / Wednesday – April 11, 2001
Marshall Brodien and his basement full of “Bozo Show” memories is featured in a Daily Herald story. Brodien played Wizzo the Wizard on the legendary local TV show, which will be ending it’s 40 year run on Aug. 26. The article described how the character was added to the show, “Brodien portrayed the zany mustachioed magician on the WGN-TV program for roughly 30 years before retiring in 1994. He first appeared as himself doing magic and later adopted the character from the fictional land of Arobia.” Brodien commented about the show’s popularity, “They used to tell you when you were pregnant to order tickets and your child would be 6 or 7 by the time you’d get on the show.” To read the Apr. 9 story by Kathryn Grondin titled “Wizzo creator keeps Bozo legacy alive” click: HERE.(4/11)

Caesars Magical Empire might have gotten a reprieve. According to a Las Vegas Review-Journal story the Conga Room, which was supposed to replace the empire, has been cancelled, “Brian Dixon – who employs the Empire’s environmental entertainers — said his staff was told last week the Conga Room would never happen.” To read the Apr. 10 story by Mike Weatherford titled “Caesars Palace will retain Magical Empire” click: HERE.(4/11)

Hans Zahn who has been having tax trouble lately lost his case in Canada’s Tax Court when they rejected his business loses for the past 17 years. According to Mercury News article the court’s opinion was, “…that no reasonable person would think Newfoundland could support a magician.” To read the Apr. 10 story by Chuck Shepherd titled “17-year losing streak” click: HERE.(4/11)

Looks like the “Showgirls of Magic” was just sold by Bonnie Saxe (Melinda’s mother) to David Saxe (Melinda’s brother) who has been adding more magic to the show including magicians Nathan Burton & Sara. According to a Las Vegas Review-Journal story “Saxe’s method of operation is the same as it is in the Melinda show: Keeps things moving fast and the bits short.” To read the Apr. 6 story by Mike Weatherford titled “‘Showgirls of Magic’ gets a makeover at San Remo” click: HERE.(4/11)

Greg Joyce is taking advantage of the interest in Harry Potter by running magic workshops and getting children involved in magic. He explains in a Peoria Journal Star article, “Magic is an outlet for creativity… It’s a chance to improve public speaking and performing ability, sense of humor and self-confidence.” To read the Apr. 5 story titled “Harry Potter renews children’s interest in the art of magic” click: HERE.(4/11)

Brad Rankin won a talent show by performing magic. According to a Baltimore Sun article Rankin studies the magic of David Copperfield and David Blaine, “I can study a tape of their performances, and then determine how a trick is done and adapt it to my own style.” To read the Apr. 10 story by Debra Taylor Young titled “Talent show winner doesn’t miss a trick” click: HERE.(4/11)

NEW JERSEY: Torkova lectures for IBM Ring 200 on Tuesday Apr. 17 at 7:30pm at the Villager’s Theater (on Demott Lane) in Somerset. Admission is $10.00 for non-members. For more information phone Frank Valenti: 732-752-7736.(4/11)
VOLUME: 40 / ISSUE: 1,200 / Thursday – April 12, 2001
Arthur Manfredi who is known in magic as the photographer for the Slydini books (Best of Slydini and More and The Magical World Of Slydini) and was also a longtime photographer of magicians has a display of his magic photos, years after his death, in a Brooklyn gallery thanks to his artist grandson  Jeff Caramagna. …Go to full story.(4/12)

The opening of “Magic: The Science of Illusion” at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is featuring magicians of IBM Ring 6. The exhibit, which opened on Apr. 6 had several strolling magicians working the crowds with plans to have them back on Apr. 19 at 6pm-9pm and Apr. 22 for a special Members Only event celebrating the opening of Cirque du Soleil’s Journey of Man.(4/12)

A little girl asked David Copperfield, “Are you really talented or is it the equipment that you use?” A Las Vegas Review-Journal article gave his response, “Am I talented? Next question.” To read the Apr. 11 story by Norm titled “Gunfire interrupts Damon’s round of golf at Shadow Creek” click: HERE.(4/12)

The Toledo Society of Magicians holds an “Evening of Formal Close-Up Magic” on Apr. 19 at the the Wyndham Hotel downtown. The show will feature six magicians form the Toledo, OH area and admission will be $10 per person. To read the Apr. 11 Toledo Blade article titled “Authors! Authors! features biographer” click: HERE.(4/12)
VOLUME: 40 / ISSUE: 1,201 / Friday – April 13, 2001
Eric Vaughn who will be performing in his hometown on Apr. 21 is featured in a Hutchinson News story. Vaughn says about performing, “The best part for me is not fooling the audience – there’s some sort of mystery there. That’s why they call it magic – you’re there to entertain… I’m an entertainer who just happens to be a magician.” He explained how learning magic is done through mentors and books and once you learn the basics you can do it your way. His 75-minute show appears at the McPherson’s Community Building auditorium (122 East Marlin) in McPherson, KS at 3pm and 7:30pm. To read the Apr. 12 story by Karen Martinez titled “Magician to pop in for McPherson appearance” click: HERE.(4/13)
VOLUME: 40 / ISSUE: 1,202 / Saturday – April 14, 2001
Dr. Richard Wiseman and Peter Lamont are magicians who managed to get a grant for £10,000 from the SciArt charity to attend the MAGIC Live… convention in Las Vegas this August. The purpose of the trip is to study how magicians use psychology to deceive. According to an Electronic Telegraph story Lance Burton and Max Maven have already agreed to be videotaped and, “A specialised eye tracker will then be used to investigate how they manage to distract the attention of their audience with pacing, eye contact and deliberate gestures. Dr Wiseman said: ‘This is their greatest skill – attention manipulation. Close-up magicians doing coin and card tricks are superb at making us look where they want us to.'” Wiseman also pointed out that “Magicians are notoriously secretive about the methods they use to create illusions but probably do not understand how those methods work.” To read the Apr. 14 story by Roger Highfield titled “Magic study scientists disappear to Las Vegas” click: HERE.(4/14)

Torkova, RJ Lewis, Jamy Ian Swiss, Todd Robbins, Rick Franceschini, Michael Chaut, and Simon Lovell appear at Monday Night Magic on Apr. 16 at 8pm in NYC. For tickets call Ticketmaster at: 212-307-4100.(4/14)

CALIFORNIA: Alain Nu lectures for the Misdirections Magic Shop on Monday Apr. 16 at 7:30pm at the Squished Eyeball Theater (340 Mason St. at Geary-Downtown) in San Francisco. For more information phone: 415-566-2180.(4/14)
VOLUME: 40 / ISSUE: 1,203 / Sunday – April 15, 2001
Peter Lamont was debunking some of the myths of magic at the Edinburgh International Science Festival On Friday where The Guardian explained “Dr Lamont also cast a sceptical eye over levitation, sword swallowing and body piercing, and demonstrated by stabbing a spike through his own tongue. ‘You can fake that or you can do it for real,’ he said. ‘I’m a magician so you can guess what I do.'” The main part of the lecture was about the legendary Indian Rope Trick, which Lamont concluded, “The rope trick itself never used a rope. The legend is that the rope goes up and a boy shins up it and disappears at the top. What seems to be the case is that first-hand accounts of this were exaggerated over time from what was a pole-balancing trick. Then there were hoax photos and the myth was perpetuated.” To read the Apr. 14 story by Kirsty Scott titled “Mystery of Indian rope trick unraveled” click: HERE.(4/15)

Many other stories about Peter Lamont’s talk preceded the event which he described as “The idea is to offer some sort of scientific approach to looking at various things which on the surface appear to challenge modern science.” To read the Apr. 12 story from Ananova titled “Magician explains knotty problem of rope trick” click: HERE.
—To read the Apr. 13  BBC story titled “Cold feet over fire walking” click: HERE.
—To read the Apr. 13 The Herald – Glasgow story titled “Academic’s evening will be full of eastern promise” supplied by Infoseek and YellowBrix click: HERE.(4/15)

Jonathan Levit, Brian Gillis and Sue, Tina Lenert, Jason Byrne, Alfonso, Jesse Dee, Jim Kopper appear at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, on Apr. 16-22.(4/15)

Houdini’s Box by Adam Phillips which will be released in the US later this year is reviewed in The Daily Telegraph. Released this week in the UK the book is described as, “This confrontation between belief and disbelief forms a subtext to Adam Phillips’s exploration of the art of escape, about how we define ourselves by what we need to escape from, and why we are so spellbound by ideas of escape.” To read the Apr. 14 review titled “Now you see me…Justine Picardie on the art of vanishing” supplied by Infoseek and YellowBrix click: HERE.(4/15)

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