The “Goldfinger” in the magic duo Goldfinger and Dove is Jack, the man who books the magicians who perform nightly at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. Not only is he an extremely talented magician who oozes a unique style, Jack Goldfinger is also a beloved figure in the magic community. ABC 7 news tells the tale.

If our complete run-down of everything that happened at The Academy of Magical Arts’ 50th Anniversary Awards Show is a bit too long for you and you just want to know won the shiny things, this is the article for you.

Masters Fellowship and Magician of the Decade: David Copperfield 

The big winner of the night was magic icon and television mainstay David Copperfield, who walked away with not only the grandest fellowship award the AMA has to offer, the Masters Fellowship, but also the first ever Magician of the Decade award.

Magician of the Year: David Williamson

Gifted comedian and sleight-of-hand magician David Williamson was crowned Magician of the Year. Williamson’s career spans dozens of TV shows, numerous stage shows, and years of touring. He’s got more awards than I can fit in this summary. Now he’s got one more. 

Lifetime Achievement Award: Haruo Shimada

Haruo Shimada was one of two magicians from Tokyo to win an award on Sunday. Shimada began performing in the late 50’s at just 18-years-old and has apparently never spoken during a performance. Half a century in the arts has earned him a Lifetime Achievement award.

Stage magician of the Year: Shoot Ogawa

Born in Tokyo some 35 years after Shimada, Shoot Ogawa discovered his love for magic at the age of ten and by 17 he was already winning magic awards in the US. He has toured the world, performed on all seven Japanese television channels and is a regular performer at The Magic Castle. In 2003 he became the youngest magician to win an AMA Close-up Magician of the Year award at just 27-years-old. On Sunday, he added the Stage Magician of the Year award to his trophy case.

Close-Up Magician of the Year: Richard Turner

This is Richard Turner’s second Close-Up Magician of the Year award. He won his first in 2015. He is also blind, and was recently the subject of critically acclaimed documentary, Dealt. Despite losing most of his vision during his childhood, Turner has went on to become an expert card manipulator and performer. He’s currently retired, but still performs semi-regularly at the Magic Castle.   

Parlour Magician of the Year: Johnny “Ace” Palmer

Johnny “Ace Palmer” has won both The AMA Close-up Magician of the Year award and Lecturer of the Year award twice. He has performed on dozens of TV shows and in venues around the world. He is also the 2018 AMA Parlour Magician of the Year. 

Lecturer of the Year: John Carney

Sleight-of-hand magician, artist, actor and teacher, John Carney, has been Magician of the Year seven times during his storied career. This time he’s being honored for his skills as a lecturer. He regularly tours the world conducting seminars and giving lectures. He has written five books on performance magic.   

Performing Fellowships: Ray Anderson, Eric Mead  

Ray Anderson has entertained Austin, Texas for more than thirty years as the creative force Esther’s Follies. Eric Mead is a magical jack-of-all-trades who has created two TV shows of his own and appeared in dozens more. Both gentlemen came away with Performing Fellowships. 

Special Fellowship: Ken Klosterman, Peter Lane 

Both men were honored for their dedication to the preservation of magic artifacts and literature; Klosterman in his role as a private collector and merchant, and Lane in his capacity as Executive Librarian of the Magic Circle in London. 

Creative Fellowship: Chris Kenner  

Kenner’s role as executive producer of David Copperfield’s shows for more than twenty years helped earned him his Creative Fellowship award.

Media Fellowship: David Ginn  

David Ginn not only performs upwards of 300 shows a year, he’s a prolific author with over 80 books, audio recordings, and DVDs to his name. He’s also responsible for some 250 columns in magic and clowning trade publications. 40 years behind the keyboard have earned Ginn a Media Fellowship.  

Awards of Merit: Denis Behr, Randy Sinnott, and Wayne Dobson

Magician and cardist Denis Behr, former AMA president Randy Sinnott, and British magician Wayne Dobson, all came away with awards of merit for their contributions to the art.

Junior achievement wards: Kevin Li and Griffin Barry 

Kevin Li and Griffin Barry were honored for their excellence in the field of close-up magic.

Everyone here at GeniiOnline would like to extend our congratulations to everyone who won, or was nominated for, an award. 

Last evening, The Orpheum Theatre in Downtown L.A. was host to The Academy of Magical Arts’ 50th Anniversary Awards ShowThe Magic Castle’s official Twitter account live-tweeted the event, the results of which I’ve compiled into the blow-by-blow summary you see below. Enjoy.

  • The show kicks off at 7:10pm with a short introduction by host, Larry Wilmore, followed by an appearance from Magic Castle founder, Milt Larsen.  
  • A video montage of the last 50 years of AMA award shows plays, accompanied by Liberty Larsen singing It’s Magic.  

  • Wilmore presents a slideshow called The Afro Years, showing famous magicians who sported afros at some point during their careers.
  • Academy of Magical Arts president, Jim Steinmeyer, presented a Performing Fellowship to Ray Anderson.
  • Johnny Thompson presents the Close-Up Magician of the Year award and a $1,000 prize (donated by the Dai Vernon Foundation) to Richard Turner. 
  • Max Maven presents an Award of Merit to Denis Behr. 
  • Andrew Evans arrives on stage, raps throughout the entirety of his performance. That is not a joke.

  • Traditionalist magician, Michael Weber, presents a Performing Fellowship to sleight-of-hand wizard, Eric Mead.
  • John Lovick presents a Creative Fellowship to veteran magician and producer, Chris Kenner. 
  • John Gaughan presents the special fellowship to Ken Klosterman for his work in collecting and conserving magic antiquities. 
  • Marawa the Amazing impresses the audience with her superb hula hoop performance.  

  • Genii Magazine Editor in Chief Richard Kaufman presents a Special Fellowship award to fellow man of letters, Peter Lane. Lane is the executive Librarian of the Magic Circle in London. 
  • GeniiOnline and Genii Magazine owner, Randy Pitchford, presents the Lecturer of the Year award and a $1,000 prize (in honor of Don Lawton and Carl Ballantine) to John Carney. 
  • Joan Lawton presents a Media Fellowship Award to David Ginn. 
  • Liberty Larsen presents an In Memoriam video that contains far too many names for just one year. 

  • FISM Manipulation World Champion, Yo Kato, entertains the audience.
  • Siegfried and (Marvin) Roy present the Lifetime Achievement award to Haruo Shimada, a venerable Japanese magician who once performed for Emperor Hirohito. 
  • Steve Valentine  presents the third and final Award of Merit to Wayne Dobson. His acceptance speech is very well received.

  • Larry Wilmore returns to the stage to perform some magic. It ends badly. 

  • Goldfinger and Dove announce that Shoot Ogawa is the 2018 Stage Magician of the Year. Ogawa also recieves a $1000 prize in honor of Sam Fehrenz and Judith Spohr. 
  • French “black art” performers,  Les Chapeaux Blanc, perform the final show of the night. It goes down well.    

Michael Carbonaro presents the first ever Magician of the Decade award to, who else, David Copperfield. 

  • But Copperfield can’t get away with just one award. Dick Van Dyke turns up out of nowhere and presents him with the Masters Fellowship award (and they even dance a little jig!).

And there ends a truly magical evening. Congratulations to all those who walked away with an award or an award nomination, and thank you to whoever is running the Magic Castle’s Twitter account for the timely and tireless coverage.  

As noted in the text, Randy Pitchford is the owner of Genii Magazine and GeniiOnline. 

The Academy of Magical Arts is hosting its yearly bash to honor the best of the business in the magic world this weekend. The 50th annual AMA Awards Show is happening on Sunday, April 22 at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. There will be an after-party at, where else, the Magic Castle following the ceremony. Although the event is open to the public, those tickets have already disappeared like a palmed coin. AMA members can still contact the Magic Castle for their tickets.

Larry Wilmore, who is a magician in addition to an actor, comedian, writer, and producer, will host the ceremony at the Orpheum. David Copperfield will be honored as Magician of the Decade in addition to receiving the AMA Masters Fellowship. David Williamson has been selected as Magician of the Year. Other awards for the best close-up magician, parlour magician, stage magician, and lecturer of the year will be announced at the event, and the nominees are quite the who’s who of contemporary performers:

Close-Up Magician of the Year Nominees:
Eric Jones
Armando Lucero
Garrett Thomas
Richard Turner
Andrew Goldenhersh
Bill Goodwin

Parlour Magician of the Year Nominees:
Woody Aragon
Chris Capehart
Handsome Jack
Johnny Ace Palmer
Arthur Trace

Stage Magician of the Year Nominees:
The Clairvoyants
Derek Hughes
Tina Lenert
Shoot Ogawa

Lecturer of the Year Nominees:
John Carney
Pop Haydn
Joshua Jay
Eric Jones
Rob Zabrecky