Actor, singer, magician, past-president of the Academy of Magical Arts Neil Patrick Harris is a swell guy. Win this contest and you’ll get flown to New York to hang around with him at the zoo for the day! Only six days left to try your luck, ending on January 17.

If, like me, you always feel a pang of guilt whenever you spend your hard-earned money on something as frivolous as a fancy deck of playing cards (I love them, but it’s true), then Theory11 has just the thing for you:  a deck that looks good, handles well, and makes you feel like a better person.

It could also save lives. If you’re into that kind of thing.

ALL of the proceeds from sales of the charity: water deck go to a non-profit charity that, conveniently, is also called charity: water. The charity partners up with local companies and communities to provide access to clean water to people in need around the world. One in ten people today lacks access to clean water, and thousands of people, nearly half of them children, die every day from waterborne diseases. charity: water works to prevent that. The charity has a four star rating on Charity Navigator, with a perfect score on accountability and transparency.    

Like the water it namesake looks to provide, the charity: water deck is clean and minimalist. The backs feature a dense arrangement of the charity’s water can logo in white and a beautiful light blue. The fronts are standard, and the tuck box is a very regal affair, decked as it is in royal blue. The decks are also environmentally friendly, as they’re produced using recycled paper in presses powered by hydroelectric power or other renewable energy sources. 

Please purchase a deck, or, if you’d prefer, donate to charity: water directly. 

Last year, the Boston Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians staged a two hour show to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research during the Wellsesley Wonderful Weekend. Alzheimer’s still hasn’t been cured yet, so they’re doing it again this year.

The show runs from 4pm to 6pm at the Wellesley Community Center on May 19th, with the proceeds going to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. The fund’s board of directors are covering all overhead costs, so 100% of every donation made to the fund goes towards research into the crippling disease.

The master of ceremonies for the show will be the Boston Ring’s president, Bruce Fenton, who will be joined by the following performers:

Alan The Uncanny

Magician and cartoonist, Alan Wassilak, combines the art of illusion with the art of, um, art, to perform unique tricks.

Pat Farenga 

Pat Farenga is a magician, magic teacher and editor of The Silent Messenger newsletter.

Ryan Lally 

Young, but with the classical charm of a born magician, Ryan Lally adds a touch of class to the proceedings. 

Gil Stubbs 

Wellesley’s own Gil Stubbs and his associate, Jerry Schiowitz, will be performing “on-demand” close up magic before the show and during the intermission.

Those seasoned magicians will also be joined by performers Danny Winter and Mikey Lee. 

As I write this, English magician Colin Lanfear is making a 3,300 mile bike journey across England, Wales and Scotland. The 49-year-old Alvington-native is riding around the UK, performing free shows to raise £15,000 towards a support center for families and those with disabilities in Ghana.

After each performance, he’ll be taking donations to pay for his accommodation, food, and the building project. He’s also taking donations online

What would possess a man to cycle the nation’s coasts? As Lanfear himself puts it:

I am doing it for a number of reasons, firstly, I can do it, I have the freedom to do it so I will. Life is short, if you do not attempt the something you want to do now it may never happen. I am a Magician and Family Entertainer so I will be Busking my Magic Show on the streets of the towns and cities I cycle through. This will be a challenge in itself, what I make from my busking will help fund my journey any extra will go to the project.   

Lanfear has been a semi-professional magician for just four years, and only became interested in the art eight years ago, after a chance meeting with Eric Sharp, an octogenarian Punch and Judy showman and magician. Sharp sadly passed away at the age of 94, but not before passing on his secrets and tricks to Lanfear.  

He doesn’t have an itinerary up, but you can follow Lanfear on Facebook to see if he’s in your area.    

Art may be magic, but you know what is even magic-ier? Actual magic. That’s why gorgeous illusionist Ryan Oakes will be performing at this year’s Fresh Art’s Annual Benefit, Art is Magic, in New York this May.

A quality illusionist and magician, Oake’s career took off when he he became the youngest person to win the Society of American Magicians’ National Magic Competition in 1990. Since then, he’s been touring the US at a breakneck pace, performing literally thousands of shows in a career that has spanned more than two decades. 

Fresh Art is a New York-based charity that supports and displays the art of disadvantaged or disabled people throughout the city. To quote the charity’s website: 

Fresh Art was formed in September of 1997 by people active in social services and the arts who believe that disadvantaged and underserved individuals should be recognized for their talent and not solely for the obstacles in their lives. Fresh Art introduces these artists to the greater community with the belief that they will benefit in all aspects of their lives from being recognized for their cultural contribution to society.  

The Art is Magic benefit begins at 6:30pm on May 8th at The Curator Gallery, 520 W 23rd Street (between 10 and 11 Avenues), New York. Tickets are on sale now and range from $75.00 for general admission or $125.00 for a VIP ticket that includes a “one-of-a-kind magical gift bag.” 

Dovid Robatnick was diagnosed with Atypical Parkinson’s disease back in 2013, and he thought his career in magic was over. Rather than let it destroy his dreams, he buckled down, rethought his approach to his work, and has continued to practice magic despite his debilitating condition. He created Slow-Motion Magic as a way to chronicle his journey in living Parkinson’s and to bring awareness to a wider audience. In his latest video, he’s teamed up with a youngster named Seth to perform a neat card trick after opening with some updates on a recent Parkinson’s fun run he took part in. 

For updates on Dovid’s work, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel for his latest exploits, check out Dovid’s Patreon to see more information about his project, and visit the Michael J. Fox Foundation to learn more about Parkinson’s and what you can do to help. 

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.  

One of the measures of a civilized society is its treatment of the elderly and infirm. Initiatives like Meals on Wheels don’t just give old people a hot meal every now and again, they’re often a senior’s only form of human contact. 

The Means on Wheels program in Leavenworth County, Kansas serves more 56,000 meals a year and is the first point of contact for hundreds of elderly residents. To cover costs, the agency asks for a minimum $2 donation for each meal, but nearly 25% of the seniors using the program can’t afford that donation. The agency will never deny a senior a meal.

To make up the difference, Meals on Wheels Leavenworth is holding its 13th annual spring benefit on April 20th at the Riverfront Community Center. It’ll feature a music, a catered dinner and a performance by Kansas City magician Scott Henderson. 

Tickets are available at the Council on Aging, 1830 S. Broadway St., or Candle Queen Candles, 500 Shawnee St. They’ll run you $20 for an adult and $10 for a child. If you don’t live around Leavenworth County, please consider making a donation to your local Meals on Wheels provider or similar charity.

No, the Floating Hospital for Children in Boston, MA doesn’t actually float (at least it doesn’t anymore after the boat burned down in 1927), but that hasn’t stopped Adam Trent from connected a few dots with his magic routine. He’s in Boston for a show next week, and took some time out of his busy schedule to make a table levitate for the hospital’s pediatric wing the other day. 

The kids were, of course, delighted. You can check out video footage from his appearance at the hospital in the tweet above, and watch a video of Trent helping a toddler move a pair of glasses around by waving her hands in the tweet below.

And here are some pictures from his time spent at the hospital:

Simply adorable.

Newburgh, NY magician Chris Dare will be returning to his roots on January 25, performing for a charity event hosted by Abilities First, a non-profit assisting disabled individuals in all walks of life, how ever they may need it.

The event, called Magic With a Mission, will see Dare perform his “Dare to Believe” show, which combines an inspirational message with sleight of hand and the power of suggestion. 

“Chris’s mission is to inspire others with the belief that anything is possible is in line with the Abilities First mission of providing people with disabilities and their families the support to help them reach their greatest potential,” said Melissa McCoy, Chief Advancement Officer for Abilities First, via press release.  

General admission tickets are currently on sale for $20 until January 15, when the price goes up to $30. VIP tickets are also available for $40, which includes a meet-and-greet, an autographed souvenir, and complimentary hors d’ourvres and beverages. 

Find out more about the event or pick up your tickets at Magic With A Mission’s event page and find out more about Abilities First’s mission at