In 2016, world leaders made a public promise to get every school-age Syrian refugee into full-time education. Two years later, less than half of those children have access to schooling.
British magician Dynamo is working with children’s charity TheirWorld to hold those world leaders to account for that broken promise. Last year, he traveled to Lebanon to meet Syrian children who haven’t made it into the school system, and toured what school facilities were available. In a few days, both he and TheirWorld president Sarah Brown will travel to Brussels to discuss the situation with world leaders, and they’d like your support.
Content warning: The video below contains some upsetting content, including a photograph of the body of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, who drowned in 2015.
The campaign isn’t looking for money, though donations are no doubt always welcome. Instead, you can support the campaign by signing this petition and using the #YouPromised hashtag on social media.
Dynamo is still on the mend after dealing with a triple-whammy of health problems, but fans will be getting a chance to see the magician back at work as soon as this summer. Dynamo is bringing his Seeing is Believing tour to New Zealand in July. The show offers a large stage for his very large illusions. Tickets for the New Zealand dates go on sale at 10 am on April 16. Here’s the current itinerary:
July 20, 8:00 pm – Horncastle Arena in Christchurch
July 21, 2:00 pm – Horncastle Arena in Christchurch
July 26, 8:00 pm – Spark Arena in Auckland
A true international performer, Dynamo will also be doing shows in South Africa in May. His website has the full schedule, and tickets are still available for the shows in Pretoria and Cape Town.
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.
— Dynamo (@Dynamomagician) March 27, 2018
British magician, Steven “Dynamo” Frayne hasn’t been around much lately. Fans knew the former star of Dynamo: Magician Impossible wasn’t well; he’s been open about his ongoing battle with Crohn’s, a notoriously awful form of inflammatory bowel disease, but many were shocked by how ill he looked in a selfie posted on Monday. That’s not surprising, the corticosteroids used to treat Crohn’s regularly cause weight gain, water retention and rashes, as well as a host of other side affects that still somehow manage to be preferable to the agony of a Crohn’s flare up. Today, Dynamo posted a video on all of his social media accounts, explaining his ill appearance and laying out his plans for the future.
Crohn’s is bad enough, but the popular magician has also been dealing with the fallout of a savage case of food poisoning that left him hospitalized eight months ago. As you can imagine, food poisoning on top of a disease that plays havoc with your digestive system is already a roller coaster of misery, but things still managed to get worse. The food poisoning led to an autoimmune response, causing what sounds an awful lot like rheumatoid arthritis. Dynamo now has crippling pain in most of his joints, including his fingers, a particularly daunting prospect for a magician.
Still, Dynamo isn’t going to let his health problems hold him back. In the video he promises fans that he’s working with doctors to get his health back on track and is even working on new tricks when he’s able to do so. #iwillbeback reads the accompanying hashtag.
Everyone here at GeniiOnline wishes Dynamo a quick recovery and we’re looking forward to covering his return to the magic scene.
Dynamo has been busy on the press junket promoting his new title The Book of Secrets, but the magician took some time to have a longer chat with Square Mile. The feature piece covers various stages of the performer’s career to date, including the great story of how he came to his stage name.
He was chosen to perform at the Society of American Magicians’ Houdini Centennial as a virtual unknown. The act was so compelling that card magician Aaron Fisher stood up and yelled, “This kid’s a f****** dynamo!” He spent the rest of the week being referred to as “the Dynamo kid” and the name stuck.
“Obviously I lost the ‘effing’ part,” he said. “It kind of works. And it sounds a bit cooler than Steven.”
Dynamo also talked about the inspiration from his grandfather, his early efforts in building a YouTube channel and learning to film magic, and burning all the copies sold of his UnderGround Magic DVD from his bedroom. He also waxes philosophical about what he wants his audience members to take away from a performance:
“Magic’s an emotion that someone feels when they witness something amazing. It could be a shared experience, which is what I try to make my magic about. I want it be an experience that we share together.”
Read the whole interview here.
Usually, magicians go on talk shows to perform their own tricks, but this Sydney radio host flipped the script for Dynamo. Ahead of the UK superstar’s appearance on Australia’s 2Day FM, magician Jackson Aces dropped by to teach one of the hosts a trick she could do to impress the performer. Her co-host’s reactions both times are pretty priceless, and Dynamo even winds up on the floor.
When you see Dynamo on stage now, you see a master performer who entertains legions with his grace and charisma. But before he was Dynamo, Steven Frayne used magic for a much more somber purpose.
The magician gave an interview to UK publication The Mirror Online about his difficult childhood, recalling his experiences living with racism and bullying at a young age. After realizing the scope of the attacks from fellow kids, Dynamo’s grandfather taught the boy a few magic tricks.
“It wasn’t the typical approach I’d expect to use to stop getting beaten up every day but these were like kind of scary pieces of magic that got people off my back a little bit,” he told the Mirror. “I think people thought I was a bit of a demon child after seeing my stuff but then over time not only did it scare people away but it also gave me my own identity and I felt for the first time ever comfortable being myself and I’ve been doing magic ever since.”
The Mirror’s piece about Dynamo coincides with a fundraiser for the NSPCC, a children’s charity in the UK, and Childline hotline for abused or suffering youth. Bullying sadly knows no boundaries, so if you’re able, consider putting a few bucks towards more local organizations with the same goals.
Dynamo also briefly talked about being bullied in a recent appearance on This Morning. His chat mostly focused on Dynamo: The Book of Secrets, an instructional volume for aspiring magicians.
This interview with Dynamo from chat show This Morning covers a lot of territory, perhaps most importantly how magic can help young people feel more confident in social situations. Dynamo describes how learning magic turned him from a “weirdo” who was bullied every day to someone who was “different, but interesting.”
Dynamo was on the show to promote his book Dynamo: The Book of Secrets, an instructional tome he hopes will encourage young people to explore magic the same way he did when he was at school. A student visiting the set for work experience managed to learn one of the tricks from the book in just a half an hour despite not having any magical background, so it would seem The Book of Secrets is well suited for beginners.
Forbes has once again assembled a list of the top-paid magicians in the industry, and once again, David Copperfield rests very comfortably atop it, bringing in $61.5 million pre-tax in the fiscal year that ended in June 2017. Some of that came from the 621 shows he performed in Las Vegas, and some came from his resorts at Musha Cay in the Bahamas, where the rates start at $39,000 a day for up to 12 persons with a 4-night minimum.
Please indulge a quick and personal aside. I grew up watching David Copperfield’s specials on television, and this trick made such an impact on me, to this day, it’s still what I think of whenever his name comes up. He combined illusion and theater in a way I didn’t know was possible, and it formed the foundation of my lifelong love of magic.
Trailing behind Copperfield are the bad boys of magic, Penn & Teller, who took in earnings of $30.5 million. Their residency at the Rio in Las Vegas nets them about $100,000 a night. In a distant third is Criss Angel with $14.5 million – not a bad payday for ten shows a week at the Luxor.
The fourth spot is a wee bit of a cheat, as it goes to The Illusionists, a touring production with a rotating cast of performers. It’s the most successful magic show in Broadway history, and earned $11.5 million for the year. Rounding out the top five is Dynamo, who pulled a nice $9 million thanks to arena shows in Australia and a brand partnership with FC Barcelona.