MT: December 25-31, 2000

VOLUME: 36 / ISSUE: 1,092 / Monday – December 25, 2000
B. Premanand who is described as “India’s chief fakir-buster” is profiled in The Independent. Premanand has spent most of his life traveling through India exposing magicians who use their magic skills to prove they have supernatural powers. He explained what makes Indians more susceptible than many other cultures, “In Hindu mythology, the gods send avatars to earth… “People believe that the gods can take a human form any time, so from a young age we are taught to respect and fear the godmen for their supernatural powers. That’s why, when a holy man starts cracking coconuts on his head and claims it is supernatural skill, he is believed. Even prime ministers touch the dirty feet of these people.” Although Premanand is not well known outside of India — he is a legend among the people who know of him — his accomplishments include more than 7,000 speeches, writer of 36 books and teacher to “thousands of young magicians.” Best known for his work as a skeptic and exposer of miracles this article is an outstanding introduction to his fascinating life. To read the Dec. 24 article by Beatrice Newbery titled “Miracles don’t happen In a country where superstition is rampant, one man is risking his life to ridicule gurus and spread the gospel of rationalism” supplied by Infoseek and YellowBrix click: HERE.(12/25)

Art Benjamin, Scott Tokar, Len Reid, Mike Elkan, Mark Hendrickson, Patrick Albanese, and Yonkany & Anabel appearing at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, on Dec. 26-31.(12/25)

A Los Angeles Times story, about Megan and Susan Murphy who are identical twins wanting to pursue a career in magic, enlists the help of David Copperfield. The Murphys “…specialize in ‘parlor’ and ‘close-up’ magic” and the article focuses on many valuable pieces of advice given to them on becoming successful magicians. To read the Dec. 24 article by Susan Vaughn titled “Twins Seek ‘Open Sesame’ for Sharpening Magic Career” click: HERE.(12/25)

Vismayam-2000 which took place in Thiruvananthapuram, India this weekend is featured in The Hindu. The event was described as “If magic is all about engaging one’s curiosity, enveloping one’s mind in a medley of colour, costume and choreography, then, there was indeed magic in the air at the Tagore Theatre in the city.” Mentioned in the article were Gopinath Muthukad, Mohiniyattom, Theyyam, Kuchipudi, and Kathakali. To read the Dec. 23 article by G. Mahadevan titled “An amazing festival” click: HERE.(12/25)
VOLUME: 36 / ISSUE: 1,093 / Tuesday – December 26, 2000
Patrick Page, James Parker, Peter Westlake are among the performers featured in  the Magic Circle Family Christmas show which will run from Dec. 27-30 at the Centre for the Magic Arts in London. According to a London Evening Standard article visitors will also be treated to “…a Magical Mystery Tour around the House of 10,00 Secrets, the headquarters of the world-famous magic circle.” To read the Dec. 20 London Evening Standard story, about the show, titled “The magic circle Christmas party” click: HERE.(12/26)

SPAIN: The Dream Makers received the Frakson Award for stage magic and Dámaso received the Ascanio Award for close-up magic. These annual awards are given by the Madrid Circle of the Spanish Magic Society SEI (Sociedad Española de Ilusionismo). In the past the awards were given based on the performers accomplishments during the previous year but the procedure was changed into a competition a few years ago. Previous winners include Tamariz, Camilo, Carroll, Benatar, Gómez, Romero, and Leal.(12/26)
VOLUME: 36 / ISSUE: 1,094 / Wednesday – December 27, 2000
Teller’s book, “When I’m Dead All This Will Be Yours,” is reviewed in the Los Angeles Times where it is described as ” The silent partner in Penn & Teller has written a warm and loving memoir about being the son of two quirky and devoted artists.” Along with the review is an interview with Teller. An interesting answer came after he was questioned about David Blaine, “I know him personally. He’s a very nice fellow. I think that his television specials have been among the best magic TV specials I have ever seen. They create a level of reality, whether that reality is real or not is irrelevant. They create a feeling of reality which is a very fresh way of looking at magic.” To read the Dec. 26 review by Susan King titled “The Pen Teller” click: HERE.(12/27)
–Buy the book from Amazon for $19.96 by clicking: HERE.

Eric Henning performs his Victorian-style magic act at Maryland’s Family New Year’s Eve Celebration for the City of Greenbelt. This is the third year in a row that Henning will be appearing at this event. He will perform three shows at the Old Greenbelt Theater. For tickets and information phone: 301-397-2208.(12/27)
VOLUME: 36 / ISSUE: 1,095 / Thursday – December 28, 2000
The Holiday Magic Extravaganza which is comprised of young magicians and runs in Alaska this week is featured in an Anchorage Daily News story. Mentioned in the article are Anthea Carns, Ernie Piper, Don Russell, and Amy Schnell. The show is produced by the Alaska Magic Kids, which is part of the Society of Young Magicians — a division of the Society of American Magicians. To read the Dec. 27 article by Rose Cox titled “Children show off mastery of magic” click: HERE.(12/28)

Teller’s new book is the subject of a short Associated Press story. To read the Dec. 27 article titled “Teller Pens Book About His Parents” click: HERE.(12/28)

A sad story about Patrick Ray Chesnutt a former winner of an I.B.M. competition and student of Harry Blackstone, Sr. A South Bend Tribune article discusses Chesnutt’s problems with his health, needing a heart transplant in order to live longer than a year. But inspite of his bad health his main worries are simpler, “Our home needs a new roof and we don’t have the money or insurance to fix it.” To read the Dec. 22 story by Bill Moor titled “If only his magic could be transplanted into reality” click: HERE.(12/28)
VOLUME: 36 / ISSUE: 1,096 / Friday – December 29, 2000
Sunny George who performs under his stage name Malayil Mastan was premiering a new magic routine where he would escape from bondage over a bed of burning hay. On Tuesday Dec. 26 at a Christmas party in India he fell into the haystack without being able to escape from the restraints. Once hitting the fire he began screaming but the audience thought it was part of the show. By the time they realized he was on fire it was already too late to put it out. The 40-year-old magician, “was rushed to hospital with severe burn injuries he suffered while trying to add that dicey item to his repertoire… He died at Kottayam Medical College Hospital on Wednesday, police said in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.” To read the Dec. 28 India Express story titled “Dicey item costs magician his life” click: HERE.(12/29)
VOLUME: 36 / ISSUE: 1,097 / Saturday – December 30, 2000
Matthew Salnick, a close-up magician who is still in high-school is featured in Palm Beach Post. The story explains how Salnick, who now performs professionally, began getting bookings, “…one day he went to a restaurant and performed for a patron who was so impressed she asked him to perform at a party she was hosting. His act went well, she told other people and he started getting calls.” For his future “…he plans to keep performing but he’ll be studying television and radio when he starts at Penn State University in the fall.” Explaining the joy magic brings he said, “I really enjoy entertaining people… I love amazing people.” To read the Dec. 27 article by Carol Rose titled “Wellington Teenager’s Magic Act Is No Illusion — It’s A Business” click: HERE.(12/30)

Lance Burton, David Copperfield, Dixie Dooley, Siegfried & Roy, Mac King, Melinda, Penn & Teller, Rick Thomas, Steve Wyrick, and Caesars Magical Empire are mentioned in a Las Vegas Sun article which gives advise and encouragement to all of them. To read the Dec. 28 column by Joe Delaney titled “It’s time to evaluate performances of the year” click: HERE.(12/30)
VOLUME: 36 / ISSUE: 1,098 / Sunday – December 31, 2000
Ben Robinson is featured in the Fall, 2000 issue of the Connecticut College Magazine where he describes his career, “I’ve traveled around the world and around the country for 15 years with 2,000 pounds of equipment, broken every bone in my body, and taken a bullet in the face, but I’m still ticking at 39.” Explaining why magic is his life he said, “It’s the best entertainment in the world. You don’t need language to explain it. It’s like dance. …Magic is real. I could happen. It is possible.” The article titled “Nothing Up His Sleeve” was written by Lisa Brownell.(12/31)

Patrick Boyd’s appearances earlier this year at Don’t Tell Mama in New York City is described as “Perfectly fusing comedy and music with an erudite brand of comedy magic, sidesplitting impressions, and tender moments is what you might expect from a more experienced performer in this genre. In Boyd’s case, he burned up the stage with one of the better structured and funniest Broadway theme shows to come along in ages.” To read the Dec. 27 article by John Hoglund titled “Bistro Bits: Could It Be Magic?” click: HERE.(12/31)

Aldo Colombini performs for the Ventura County Master Chorale’s “The Magic of the Night” fundraiser on Dec. 31 at 8pm. The evening includes gourmet food, dancing, champagne and a silent auction at the San Buenaventura Mission (211 E. Main St.) in Ventura, CA. The cost is $75 perperson. For more information phone: 653-7282.(12/31)
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