— Justin Willman (@Justin_Willman) March 29, 2018
Most of us would prefer to burn any and all evidence of our awkward childhoods, but Justin Willman is an exception. Maybe that’s because he was burning it up on stage both literally and figuratively. Willman tweeted this clip of his younger self doing a rendition of the dove act by the legend himself, Lance Burton. What better way to learn than to hone your skills copying one of the greats?
Part time prestidigitator Alan Fisher is one five North American magicians to qualify for the 2018 FISM World Championship of Magic being held in Busan, South Korea, this July. Unfortunately, the World Championships are holding out on that all important travel money, so Fisher is performing a pair of live shows in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to fund his trip. See the bottom of this post for more details.
At the World Championships, 100 stage performers and 50 close-up magicians will be performing and competing in front of an expected audience of between 4,000 people.
Fisher qualified for the World Championship during a regional event in Louisville Kentucky, with a jaunty act called, “Professor Time.”
In recent years, Fisher has settled into a day job producing provider directories for a health care company, but he’s no weekend wizard. Fisher starred in the national tour of the “Big Dad Burlesque” for six years (where he met his wife) and toured comedy clubs for another eight. He’s appeared on The Nashville Network and Comedy Central performing stand up and magic.
Fisher will be performing alongside Jimbo Hooten at 7pm on April 6th and 7th at The Little Theatre, 702 Ewing Ave. in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Tickets are $10 and are on sale now.
Clinical hypnotherapist, author, mentalist, viral video star and all-round magical wunderkind, Suhani Shah, will be performing live shows in Goa, India, in April.
We’ve already gone over Shah’s shtick in detail here, but the long and short of it is that she’s been performing since she was a kid, is a superb mentalist and is pretty much the most well-known woman in India’s magic scene. Stand Up Magic is the show she performs when she’s not doing TED talks or corporate events. To quote the booking company:
“In this magical milieu, the audiences attempt to uncover the secret as Suhani Shah pulls random information from audience members’ minds from their hometowns to their wishes and hopes, predicts the lottery numbers, figures out the name of the person you’re thinking about, unlocks your phone, identifies your ATM pin and even talk to the spirits.”
Shah will be playing three shows total on the weekend starting April 14th – one on Saturday and two on Sunday. Tickets are on sale now, but are selling out fast.
Chris Ramsay has a new video up, but the real star of the show is Alex Pandrea, who drops by to pinch hit with a tutorial. It’s an original riff on the card to pocket idea. Pandrea walks you through how to make a chosen card seem to vanish from the deck then reappear pretty much anyplace else. His version doesn’t take any purchased gimmicks or even any sleight of hand. All you need is a sharpie. It’s pretty darn clever.
A word of advice to today’s young magicians: Keep at it. Even if you don’t become a full-time professional prestidigitator with a permanent Vegas residency, you may find that the skills you hone in magic end up becoming very useful in other fields. Like, say, directing a widely-acclaimed horror movie.
Ghost Stories is an upcoming movie helmed by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, and its based on their stage play of the same name. Both Nyman and Dyson have a history in magic. In a red carpet interview, Nyman explains how his past work in magic ties into his more recent projects with horror.
For those of you magic fans who like being terrified for entertainment, Ghost Stories does appear have some light cross-over into the principles of magic. There’s even a bit in the trailer where the voice-over tells us, “The brain sees what it wants to see.” Misdirection made scary!
Anthony Isaacs, better known by his stage name, Tony Picasso, is not well. The UK-born magician, cardist and Magic Castle regular is suffering from an as-of-yet undiagnosed brain disease that has damaged his speech and left him unable to perform or even care for himself. He has health insurance, but health insurance only goes so far, and his is already stretched to its limit.
Josh Sadowsky, a close friend of Isaacs, has started a GoFundMe campaign for his stricken compatriot. He’s asking for US$25,000 to cover the cost of insurance co-pays, medication, in-home health care and any treatments or charges Isaac’s insurance doesn’t cover. The money will be sent directly to Isaac’s family and caretaker, and every little bit helps.
Included in the campaign is a message from Isaacs’ brother, Taylor:
“My brother, Anthony Isaacs, and your colleague and friend-who you know as Tony Picasso -is very ill and in much need of all of your help, hope, support, and prayers. Tony has been diagnosed as having Encephalopathy, which is a collective term for a disorder of the brain. He is undergoing a multitude of tests in order to find out the root cause. Currently, his doctors are bandying about a few plausible causes, one of which is viral. Tony’s symptoms include but are not limited to the following: Muscle weakness, trembling, difficulty speaking and swallowing, involuntary twitching, trembling, seizures, confusion and disorientation. His long-term outlook is guarded. His doctor’s believe that with the right treatment, a supportive community, family, and friends, along with the power of prayer, faith, and consistent dedicated hard work that Tony will once again reclaim his health, happiness, and life. Thank you for all of your help in getting Tony back to his three loves that live inside of him namely, expressing his creativity performing at the Magic Castle and being at his best on the soccer field and tennis court.”
All of us here at GeniiOnline wish Isaacs the best and hope to report on his return to the stage in the future.
When you enter the Magic Penthouse, you’re treated to a great view of downtown Chicago and a much closer view of some really skilled magicians. Nick Roy tells GeniiOnline about how he teamed up with Sin to bring this event to life. From a humble beginning, the monthly magic showcase has grown and evolved to a posh night of classy entertainment.
For the rest of our interview with Nick Roy, check out the links below:
Chicago is a scrappy city. The people who live there have always been okay with doing their own thing, no matter what the coasts or the rest of the midwest might say. Nick Roy explains that this ethos is just as true in Chicago’s magic scene. He notes that bar magic has roots in the Windy City. “Chicagoans, I guess, like to drink,” he laughs. (It’s funny because it’s true.)
Don’t know Nick? The veteran performer also tells GeniiOnline about his personal magic style. Stay tuned for more inside looks at the magic world of Chicago. As Roy himself notes, there’s a lot to see.
For the rest of our interview with Nick Roy, check out the links below:
Earlier this week, Dynamo shared a heartfelt update with fans explaining why he’s been less visible of late. The magician was hit with a triple-whammy of health troubles. He’s lived with Crohn’s, a nasty form of inflammatory bowel disease, for years, but those effects were compounded by a case of food poisoning that turned into an autoimmune response. Tl;dr is that Dynamo has had a really tough time, but is now focusing on his health and recovery.
— Dynamo (@Dynamomagician) March 27, 2018
His openness about life with Crohn’s has turned out to have a bit of a silver lining. Many other people with the condition have thanked him for providing much-needed visibility about the awful disease. Other people living with Crohn’s have been sharing their own experiences as the discussion gains momentum. Some have tweeted including their own before and after images showing the physical impact of drug treatment with corticosteroids, which can cause a legion of other unpleasant effects such as weight gain and water retention.
You can follow the conversation with the hashtag #moonfaceforDynamo. You’ll also find many of posts that are also tagged #crohnssucks, a sentiment we can all get behind.
Magic is about performing the impossible, but it’s science that defines that boundary. Such is the theme of Jason Latimer and Engineering.com‘s “Impossible Science Student Challenge,” a STEM-focused student competition they’ll be launching at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC this April.
The challenge is open to current middle school and high school students in the US and Canada. All the contestants have to do is use Engineering.com’s ProjectBoard to showcase their STEM-related projects and experiments. The winning team will earn their entire school a live magic show courtesy of Latimer, a Magic Grand Prix World Champion and curator of the Impossible Science stage show.
The competition goes live on April 6th and the deadline for submissions is June 15th. The winner will be announced on June 20th.
The USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo will run from April 7th to April 8th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. It’s the county’s largest celebration of STEM fields and will feature some 3,000 hands-on exhibits and over 30 stage shows. It’s a free event, though please make a donation if you can. Registration is open now.